But only one will come to America.
The 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show is understandably dominated by the German automakers. GM, FCA, Toyota, and Kia are all absent. Aside from Jaguar Land Rover, whose big reveal is the all-new Defender, and Honda who unveiled its new but Europe-only Honda e, the majority of non-German automakers opted to stay away. Hyundai was not one of them. In fact, the South Korean automaker had multiple debuts, such as the insanely cool 45 Concept and the Veloster N ETCR all-electric race car, the latter courtesy of Hyundai Motorsport. Clearly the automaker is not afraid to battle the Germans on their own territory.
This emphasis on bold design and performance also translates to production models, such as the Veloster N and its overseas-only cousins, the i30 N hatchback, i30 N Project C (pictured below), and i30 N Fastback. Given everything, isn't it about time for Hyundai's performance division to expand its lineup, specifically in the US?
Absolutely, and Hyundai global R&D boss Albert Biermann confirmed this to us at the German extravaganza. In fact, he revealed there are two new N models in advanced stages of development: "A small car and a higher car." The word "higher" is key. When asked to clarify, Biermann said: "All I can say it is higher, not bigger than the Veloster N." Translation: it's a crossover. Question is, which one?
We'd put our money on the Kona, which has been rumored before, and Biermann gave us a slight smile and a wink when this subcompact crossover's name was mentioned. The small car, which Biermann confirmed is not US-bound, will likely be based on the i20. The Kona N, let's call it, should arrive fairly soon but, once again, Biermann refused to go into specifics, though "development is at an advanced stage right now."
A Kona N is an interesting proposition, especially if it were to come powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the Veloster N, which produces 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Performance crossovers are quickly becoming a thing, evidenced by the likes of the Ford Edge ST and Chevrolet Blazer RS. Perhaps best of all, the rumored Kona N wouldn't cost BMW money, as the Veloster N, for example, begins at a very reasonable $28,000.