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Hyundai Working On High-Performance Kona N SUV

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But it hasn’t been approved for production yet.

The Hyundai Veloster N has proven to be a formidable hot hatch – but the Korean automaker's performance division isn't stopping there. According to Auto Express, the quirky Kona crossover could be the next model in line to get the N performance treatment, which will be the company's first-ever sports crossover. There is a catch, however. While development of a prototype Kona N is already underway, it hasn't been given the green light for production yet.

Albret Biermann, the boss of Hyundai's N performance sub-brand, revealed to the publication that engineers have been told to start work on a Kona N test mule. "I've told them to build the car and we'll see what happens with getting it approved," he said. "It has to be the i30 N powertrain, really. Of course, we can give Kona different specifications on suspension and steering, although there are some common components we can use in that area as well, because it'll be front-wheel drive, like the i30 N. But we already know that it has to be that car's engine and gearbox for the Kona N, yes."

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That engine in question will be same 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine that powers the i30 N and Veloster N, but Auto Express claims the hotter 271-hp version won't be available for the Kona N. Even so, this would still give it a considerable performance advantage over the standard Kona, which pumps out 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque from a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in the range-topping trim. The base model, on the other hand, uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. We'll have to wait and see if the Kona N gets the green light for production, In the meantime, Hyundai will soon launch the Veloster N in America and an i30 N Fastback.