Hyundai Kona N Confirmed for U.S., Powertrain Specs Revealed

Joey Capparella
·2 min read
Photo credit: Hyundai
Photo credit: Hyundai

From Car and Driver

  • Hyundai has revealed more details about the upcoming Kona N.

  • We also now have the first official photos of the high-performance crossover in prototype form.

  • The Kona N will go on sale in Europe soon and will reach the U.S. market later in 2021.

UPDATE 1/15/21: Hyundai confirmed that the Kona N is coming to the U.S. later this year. A Twitter video shows the performance crossover alongside the closely related Veloster N hatchback and tearing around a racetrack.

Hyundai's third high-performance N model will take the shape of the Kona small crossover. It will follow the Veloster N hot hatchback and the Elantra N sedan, and we now have our first official photos and a few key specifications for this upcoming performance version of Hyundai's smallest SUV.

As we suspected, the Kona N will be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that offers up 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in the Veloster N. Unlike the Veloster, though, the Kona N sadly won't have a six-speed manual transmission as standard. Instead, it will come only with the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that was added to the Veloster N lineup for 2021. Hyundai hasn't said yet whether the Kona N will have front- wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

While we'll miss the driver engagement of a manual transmission, we can't complain about the DCT's performance potential. If the Kona N comes close to the Veloster N's numbers, it'll be a swift SUV, as we tested a dual-clutch Veloster N recently and got it to 60 mph in a quick 4.9 seconds. Hyundai also says the Kona N will have launch control and that it'll have an amped-up soundtrack similar to the Veloster N's rowdy exhaust note.

Photo credit: Hyundai
Photo credit: Hyundai

Predictably, the prototype pictured here hints at the N model's more aggressive body kit, larger wheels and tires, and add-ons such as a rear spoiler and dual exhaust tips. The interior will likely feature seats with extra bolstering and plenty of N badges.

The Kona N will go on sale in Europe initially before reaching the U.S. market later in 2021. Hyundai is busy building out its N lineup and has already confirmed that the larger 2022 Tucson crossover would come in an N Line variant for the U.S.

More details about the Hyundai Kona N will be coming soon as it makes its European debut within the next few weeks.

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