Aggressive styling upgrades for new Hyundai Kona N

Huge spoiler and two big exhausts for 2021 Hyundai Kona N

  • Hyundai Kona N nears launch
  • Shares parts with the i30 N
  • Set to be third ‘N’ model

The Hyundai Kona N has been spotted testing again, this time in much less camouflage than before. A thinner disguise shows most of the Kona N’s sporty upgrades over the standard model and suggests the car is on track to be launched in the next few months.

Although there are plenty of fast SUVs now on the market - the BMW X2 M35i, Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc R to name just three - the Kona N will be smaller than these cars. It’ll rival the forthcoming Ford Puma ST when it reaches dealerships in 2021.

The cars to look forward to in 2020

These latest spy shots show that the Hyundai Kona N will feature a much wider grille than the standard car, and a larger air intake beneath it. With LED headlights fitted too, this could mean the rest of the Kona range will get a minor facelift to coincide with the launch of the N model.

N-specific touches include a new body kit, a vented spoiler featuring a triangular third brake light, red brake calipers, big alloy wheels in a model-specific design, and two large exhausts.

The Kona is expected to be front-wheel drive and is highly likely to have the same 2.0-litre engine as the Hyundai i30 N hot hatchback. Previously available with 247bhp as an entry-level model, the i30 N is now only offered in 271bhp Performance Pack specification. We’d expect the Kona N to feature a less powerful version of the same engine, bringing it closer to the 197bhp Puma ST. A 0-62mph acceleration figure of around 6.5 seconds seems likely.

Speaking to Carbuyer in 2018, the boss of Hyundai’s N division Albert Biermann gave a strong indication that the Kona N is powered by the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine as found in the Hyundai i30 N hatchback.

“I’ve told them [the engineers] to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” said Biermann. “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, because it’ll be front-wheel drive.”

Before the Kona N goes on sale, we’re expecting to witness the reveal of the Hyundai i20 N, a near-200bhp rival to the Ford Fiesta ST. There have also been whispers about a Hyundai Tucson N with almost 350bhp, but we’ve not heard of any developments recently.

Read our Hyundai Kona review for more information.

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