Rumoured for some time, prototype versions of the Kona N have been spotted testing in varying degrees of digsuise at and around the Nürburgring, where Hyundai’s European technical headquarters is based.
Although the bodywork is largely similar to the standard Kona, tell-tale signs that this is no ordinary model include N-style alloy wheels hiding larger brakes with red painted callipers, a visible intercooler beneath the front grille and a rudimentary dual exit exhaust system. The car also appears to sit lower to the ground, too.
No technical details for the new model have been confirmed, but it’s expected the Kona will offer performance similar to that of the i20 N. As such, our expectation is that it will have a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine pumping out over 200bhp, putting its power through a six-speed manual gearbox and an electronic locking differential.
A bespoke chassis setup will compliment the power upgrade, with stiffer suspension and performance brakes fitted. The interior, too, will receive the usual N tweaks including sports seats, specific trim detailing and highly configurable drive modes.
The N sub-brand had a short hiatus in 2019, following the success of the well-received i30 N and i30 N Fastback. With the i20 N expected to be unveiled early next year, and the Kona predicted for the second half of the year, rumours also suggest the Korean maker will apply the N treatment to the Tucson in 2021.