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Performance-oriented Hyundai Kona N Unleashed!


The iconic N badge now makes its way into an SUV for the first time ever!

Hyundai has unleashed the Kona N, the first SUV to bear Hyundai’s N badge. For context, Hyundai N is somewhat similar to Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi RS. So you know what to expect from this performance oriented compact SUV -- some serious power with sharper handling. So without further ado, let’s delve into the heart of the matter. 

The Kona N utilises a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 280PS of power and 392Nm of torque.  The 8-speed wet dual clutch transmission, features three modes: N Grin Shift (NGS), N Power Shift (NPS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS). With the gearbox set to NGS mode, there’s an extra 10PS to be had. 

The Kona N is capable of doing 0-100kmph in just 5.5 seconds while pushing on further will see the speedo climb to 240kmph. It also comes with an electronic slip differential to ensure that power is sent to the wheels with maximum grip. 

The stiffer body along with the extra welding points make it stiffer, therefore less body roll during hard cornering. The variable exhaust system also ensures that you’re accompanied with a soothing sound track as you push hard. Last but not least, there are five driving modes -- Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom -- that adjust various parameters depending on what you select. 

In terms of design, the Kona N has its own unique identity. The large exhausts along with the diffuser-like detailing and faux vents mean the rear-end is the easiest takeaway for the sportier Kona. The large 19-inch alloy wheels (which are lighter) are pushed out to the extreme ends for a visual treat while the body-colored fenders add a dose of muscle. 

Moving on to the front, the ‘H’ logo is now present on the nose while the lower airdam, which Hyundai says is inspired by an aeronautic fuselage, aids cooling. The lower lip, side skirts and rear spoiler not only adds style and substance as they improve aerodynamics. 

Inside, the Kona N’s dashboard layout is similar to the standard, albeit sportier tweaks. The head-up display, infotainment system, and digital driver’s display come with racier graphics. A lap timer is also provided to record your…  lap times (of course!). Last but not least are the BMW-esque N buttons on the steering wheel, which allow you to set pre-set driving modes.

Back home, Hyundai has begun testing the i20 N Line, which is a more show than performance. The i20 N Line will be the first N model to go on sale and is expected to launch later this year. While that’s good news, we also hope Hyundai launches its performance oriented N models to satisfy enthusiasts. 

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