The Hyundai Kona crossover was unveiled last year to a favourable response and the model is also destined to make its way to India in an all-electric avatar in 2019. However, with the growing popularity of performance crossovers across other brands, Hyundai too is mulling to introduce a performance-friendly 'N' badged version of its all-new crossover soon. The Hyundai Kona N is currently an idea awaiting approval from the top brass of the Korean auto giant and if approved, could pack in as much as 247 bhp from a high-performance engine.
Hyundai's N performance division head, Albert Biermann told Auto Express that he has instructed engineers to start work on a test mule of the Kona N, in the hope that it can get approved for production. He also hinted that the performance crossover is likely to borrow the 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the current Hyundai i30 N under the hood. The suspension and steering specifications could be altered with, although certain components can be shared between both models.
Biermann said, "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 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."
The Hyundai Kona in its standard setup gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 147 bhp, and a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol version with 175 bhp on offer. The Kona N would be considerably faster in comparison stock version, and expect the option of a 6-speed manual transmission and a dual-clutch automatic to be on offer as well. Going by the Hyundai i30 N, upgrades will also include a reworked grille, rear diffuser, roof spoiler, larger wheels, and possibly exposed tailpipes as opposed to the standard Kona's hidden exhaust tip.
Presently, Hyundai has two new N models lined up for launch including the i30 N Fastback and the Veloster N. Both of these models won't make their way to India but will go on sale in markets like South Korea and the US.
The Hyundai Kona N sounds like a fun proposition and bodes well into the idea of an urban SUV. That said, what we would really like to know is if the Korean car maker would consider bringing an electric performance version of the Kona (and its other electric cars) under the N sub-brand.
The report further suggests that Hyundai will be expanding the N brand with new N Line models, which feature a slight bump in power figures but with improvements to chassis and styling modifications. The first offering will be the new Hyundai i30 N Line, which will arrive later this year in Europe and will get a reworked steering, gearshift, shocks, springs, and dampers, as per Biermann.
Meanwhile, the Hyundai Kona Electric is heading to India next year. The electric crossover is set to arrive as a Completely Knocked Down Kit (CKD) and will be offered with a 99 kWh electric motor that makes 134 bhp and 395 Nm of peak torque, and a range of 300 km in a single charge. With no direct competition, the Kona Electric will be in a league of its own but with a price tag of around ₹ 20 lakh, it will take on the Jeep Compass.