It was always a matter of time before more companies started to adopt the principle of a high-performance variant of a crossover. Hyundai’s N division is no different in its desire to showcase what it can just do. Coming hot off the heels of sporty cars like the i30 N and the Veloster N is the cute yet spicy Kona N.
Those unfamiliar with Hyundai’s N badge should think of it as something along the lines of BMW’s revered M division. In fact, the Korean automaker has been poaching executives from Munich to run its skunkworks group—the name of which comes from its Namyang R&D center. Cars bestowed with N or N Line logos either have performance tweaks or fancy aero parts, or a combination of both.
Information about the Kona N is limited. What we know about it right now is that the powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch gearbox. There are no performance numbers yet, but if the Veloster N’s engine is anything to go by, it can be assumed that the Kona N packs a rather potent 275hp.
Details about the exterior are also limited as the Kona N prototype’s camouflaged styling in these teaser shots shows. But the suspension does appear to be slightly lower, and the wheels seem to be wrapped in low-profile rubber. But again, judging from what we’ve seen with other N-badged cars like the i30 N, we can expect this car to be painted in the trademark Performance Blue hue with orange accents.
With the rising popularity of fast crossovers, the writing is probably on the wall as far as the existence of hot hatches is concerned. The performance SUV segment is steadily gaining traction within the sporting crowd. That said, is it high time for Hyundai to finally bring in its N cars to the Philippines?