Hyundai Reveals First Look At 2022 Kona N

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 10, 2021

The Hyundai Kona is one of the sharper-handling subcompact SUVs on the market and has one of the more powerful available engines in the class. The South Korean automaker is looking to boost the Kona’s performance with a new sporty N model, which Hyundai recently revealed without any camouflage. The Kona N will become the second N model in the U.S. and the automaker’s first performance-oriented SUV.

The most recent pictures of the upcoming Kona N reveal just how aggressive the tiny SUV will be. Compared to the Kona N Line that was recently revealed, the sporty N model features a more prominent grille and red accents around the body. Just like the N Line, the Kona N sports body-colored fenders along the side of the SUV, while the performance variant appears to be wearing special wheels. The rear end of the Kona N houses a different diffuser compared to the N Line and two massive exhaust outlets. While we can’t see the top of the liftgate, the Kona N appears to have a special split rear spoiler design with a triangular brake light splitting the two sides.

These pictures of the Kona N show that Hyundai means business when it says the upcoming model is a “hot SUV.” Hyundai didn’t provide any pictures of the Kona N’s interior, but we expect it to be sportier than the N Line’s with heavily bolstered seats, a special steering wheel, sportier accents, and plenty of N badges.

Hyundai Elantra N

Previously, Hyundai confirmed that the Kona N would come with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s found in the Veloster N. That engine produces 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, which is a large upgrade over the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder found in the N Line. That engine makes 195 hp. Unfortunately, while the Veloster N is available with a six-speed manual transmission, we expect the Kona N to only be available with the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that Hyundai introduced last year. We’re still waiting to hear whether the engine will route power to the front wheels or through all four.

We haven’t received any information on when the Kona N will officially be released. All Hyundai will say at the moment is that “more information will be revealed soon.” Based on the pictures, we’re looking forward to getting more information.

With the introduction of the Kona N, Hyundai will have two full-blown N models on sale in the U.S. The automaker has a few more N Line models, which include the Kona, Elantra, Elantra GT, and Sonata. An Elantra N is expected to arrive sometime later this year too. Think of Hyundai's sporty vehicles as a ladder. The regular vehicles make up the lowest rung, the N Line modes are in the middle, offering more performance than the average Hyundai, while N vehicles sit at the very top. The latter comes with more powerful engines and performance-oriented components to make them track weapons.

Learn more about the 2022 Hyundai Kona »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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