Hyundai teaser video confirms that the Kona N is en route
Via a teaser video released at the beginning of the week, Hyundai has confirmed what we’ve long expected: The Kona compact crossover will get an N variant, making it the third and final full-fledged N car in the Hyundai stable.
Hyundai’s N performance division is one of the most exciting skunkworks divisions in recent memory. Its headliner, the Veloster N, is a riotous little hot hatch purpose-built for the 16-year-old goofball in all of us. We’ve known that there are more models coming down the pipeline: either all-out N cars—in the case of the Veloster, the Elantra, and now the Kona—or as moderately massaged N line cars, such as the Sonata and (again) the Elantra.
The N treatment goes something like this: bigger engine, bigger boost, and bigger attitude. The Veloster N boasts a turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four good for 275 hp (Hyundai made the Performance Pack standard for the 2021 model year). We expect the Kona to offer a similar powertrain combo, but there’s an outside chance that it will crib the 290-horse, 2.5-liter turbo-four from the Sonata N Line.
While the Veloster N gets a manual—a feature we expect to see on the Elantra N—we’re skeptical that the Kona N will. With the introduction of an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic to the Veloster N, the Kona N will likely be automatic-only.
Bummed? Don’t be. A recent stint behind the wheel of a DCT-equipped Veloster N showed us that the nothing could dim the joy of the Veloster’s well-sorted powertrain and suspension. Expect the Kona to be a snarly bugger, automatic aside. Hyundai has not released any details on pricing or on-sale date at this time.
As more and more automakers send small, fun cars the way of the dodo, we applaud Hyundai for doing the exact opposite. Long live fizzy buzzboxes and their new, slightly taller siblings.