Here's your first look at the high-performance Hyundai Kona N being put through its paces.
Rumors that Hyundai is cooking up a hardcore N version of the Kona crossover have been circulating since 2018, but now we finally have proof that the high-performance crossover has been given the green light for production. Our spies have caught a mysterious camouflaged Hyundai Kona prototype being tested in the snow with some exterior changes that suggest we're looking at a hotter N version of Hyundai's funky crossover that's currently in development.
The thick layers of camouflage covering the entire body suggest the Kona N will have some significant exterior enhancements to distinguish it from the standard model.
Expect it to look sportier than its standard sibling thanks to a deeper front spoiler, a more aggressive front end, a larger rear spoiler, and a new rear bumper. The N version will also receive the same styling changes as the upcoming Kona facelift according to our spy photographers.
But there are some design elements the camouflage can't hide that tell us this is the new hardcore Kona N. We can see the Kona N's beefier brakes hiding behind sportier wheels, while two large exhaust pipes, reshaped side sills, and wider fenders indicate this isn't the regular Kona. Under the hood, the high-performance Hyundai Kona N is expected to be powered by the same 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine as the i30 N tuned to deliver around 250 horsepower.
Alternatively, it could utilize a more powerful 280-hp unit that will power the upcoming i30 N facelift. Since the Kona N prototype is being benchmarked against the 300-hp Cupra Ateca, it should get a considerable power bump over the standard Hyundai Kona, which packs a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder producing 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque in the range-topping Ultimate trim.
Power is sent to the front wheels as standard or an optional AWD system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. According to our source, the Hyundai Kona N will debut in summer 2020 and go on sale as a 2021 model. Before then, the Hyundai Kona N prototype should shed more camouflage to give us a clearer look at Hyundai's new high-performance crossover.