By Otsile Kadiege
Hyundai Motor Company handed over its urban compact SUV to their N division to create a ‘hot SUV’. What are the results? Well, the Korean automaker reckons the Kona N has the versatility of an SUV and the hallmark characteristics of the i30 N hot hatch.
The first Hyundai high-performance SUV
Powering the Hyundai Kona N is the same 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine found in the i30 N. It develops 206 kW (213 kW after engaging a boost function) and 392 N. Power is sent to the front wheels via an 8-speed wet-clutch N DCT transmission which improves acceleration and enables faster upshifts. Hyundai claims the Kona N will sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds.
The Kona N’s N DCT transmission has 3 exclusive high-performance functions, namely N Power Shift (NPS), N Grin Shift (NGS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS).
NPS engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 per cent of throttle, thereby mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels. NGS maximises engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds. Thereafter, drivers must wait at least 40 seconds before using it again. NTS optimises adaptive shift for racetrack driving, helping the driver to focus more on steering. The Kona N has 5 distinct drive modes, namely Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom.
The Kona N is also quipped with an Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS) to control the dampening force, which further enhances handling and stability, a switchable Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and a Traction Control System (TCS).
N-specific exterior and interior
The Kona N features several design cues which indicate that it’s a high-performance Hyundai N model. These include N-exclusive forged alloy wheels with a dark satin grey finish which are wrapped with 19-inch Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tyres and red calipers, an N logo on the wheel cap, and an exclusive side sill in red with an engraved N logo. At the rear, the large, double-wing roof spoiler dominates the view, providing the necessary balance to keep the car on the road. Customers will also notice the F1 inspired triangular 3rd brake light. Lower down on the rear bumper, a large diffuser enhances the airflow departure and minimizes turbulence. Its red accent line and 2 large exhaust mufflers further emphasize the performance spirit.
The Kona N is available with a choice of 7 colours which include the new N SUV dedicated colour – Sonic Blue with Tomato Red accents.
Inside, the Kona N features N-specific styling like the N-exclusive sport steering wheel with 2 customizable N buttons on the steering wheel, high-quality Alcantara materials, exclusive Performance Blue stitching and high-quality metal pedals, and exclusive sports seats to name a few. With length of 4,215-mm, 1,800-mm width, and 1,565-mm height, the all-new Kona N is 10 mm longer than the standard Kona and just as long as the new Kona sporty N Line grade. It’s also fairly practical with 361-litres of boot space.
The Kona N additionally comes with a 10.25-inch digital N cluster, a 10.25-inch AVN touchscreen and a Performance Head-Up Display (HUD). The infotainment system features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluelink Connected Car Services and Performance Driving Data System which monitors and improves racetrack driving skills.
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