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Hyundai shows off key Kona N styling cues

Korea’s first hot SUV, the Hyundai Kona N, gets locked in for a Q3 launch

10 Mar 2021

THE looming Hyundai Kona N has – almost – been laid bare in a series of darkened teaser images released this week by Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) as the brand locks in a third quarter launch for its new hi-po SUV.


As expected, the Kona N takes many of the semi-skim Kona N-Line’s aggressive features and turns them all up to 11 with almost everything being bigger, chunkier and even more aggro.


Starting at the front, the N shares most of the N-Line’s front fascia but ups the ante with an enlarged lower intake, unique N grille mesh, refined light signature and a red-accented front splitter.


The red theme is continued down the flanks of the car in the more aggressive side skirts while exclusive alloy wheels help to pump up the overall look along with an inevitably lower ride height and stiffer suspension tune.


A similar, if not more extreme makeover has been made at the rear of the car with the N replacing the N-Line’s subtle twin exhaust tips with a huge dual-pipe set-up exiting from a more aggressive – and red-accented – diffuser.


The rear bumper housing the diffuser itself has also been given a workover to now feature an abundance of pumped-up sculpting and extra air channels, complemented nicely at the top by a double-wing roof spoiler and signature triangular N tail-light.


“The all-new Kona N will be the latest addition to the Hyundai N brand line-up, and the first N model with an SUV body type,” HMCA said in a statement.


“For the very first time, the Hyundai N division and Hyundai Design Centre worked together to develop on an SUV body type, creating a product that clearly represents a powerful presence and driving fun.”


While the images don’t reveal any details of the interior, it would be safe to assume the Kona N will resemble that of the regular Kona, albeit with N sports seats, pedal and steering wheel along with some red stitching, N badging and a few other go-faster bits like we’ve seen before on the i30 N hatch.


In terms of powertrains, HMCA is still refusing to spill the details on the Kona N and its key statistics, but as previously hypothesised by GoAuto, chances are it will come with the same force-fed 2.0-litre four-banger as the facelifted i30 N, developing 206kW/392Nm.


What we do know for sure is that the Kona N will arrive Down Under featuring the new eight-speed ‘N DCT’ dual-clutch automatic transmission, however it remains to be seen if power will be sent to the front wheels or all four.


Given its SUV body, our money is on the latter option given the N-Line variants are both all-wheel drive and it would provide the Kona N an extra point of difference to the front-drive i30 N hot hatch as well as the smaller i20 N.


HMCA has sold 2414 Konas so far this year ending February, accounting for 11.6 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small SUV segment behind the Mitsubishi ASX (2767/13.2%) and MG ZS (2555/12.2%).

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