2021 Hyundai Kona N Is Real, Test Mule Features i30 N-Style Alloy Wheels
25 October 2019 - autoevolution
Hyundai introduced the i30 N Project C in Frankfurt last month, and the high-performance division headed by Albert Biermann seems busier than ever before.
In addition to the mid-cycle refresh for the i30 N, the Kona N has surfaced with similar styling influences to the hot hatchback.
The design of the two-tone alloy wheels, red paint on the brake calipers, and grippy summer tires stand as proof, yet the front and rear ends of the Kona N don't appear to be on the same level of sportiness. Even the exhaust system looks makeshift, which means that development is far from over.
It's hard to tell from these pictures if the test mule is all-wheel drive, but even if Hyundai can't make a case for that level of grip, the rear suspension will level up from a torsion beam to a multi-link design. The platform that underpins the Kona is fairly similar to the i30, and this synergy should help the development team make the most out of their experience with the i30 N.
Like the hot hatchback, the first-ever subcompact crossover with the full-blown N treatment is expected to feature the T-GDi engine with 2.0 liters of displacement. The four-cylinder powerplant develops up to 275 PS with the performance package, an adequate number of ponies for a vehicle this small.
2020 is also the year that a dual-clutch transmission will be introduced to the i30 N and Veloster N, and obviously enough, the Kona N will be available with this option as well. The i20 N and Tucson N are also under development, but the high-performance division hasn't made plans to go higher than the compact segment. So to speak, the Sonata and Santa Fe could miss out.
In Europe and the United States, the Kona N would be the most powerful subcompact crossover for the 2021 model year unless the competition has other ideas. The Puma ST from Ford is nowhere to be seen, and Nissan didn't say a word in regard to the return of the Juke NISMO RS.
Last time we've heard anything official about the Kona N, head honcho Albert Biermann made a business case for "different specifications on suspension and steering (...) because it'll be front-wheel-drive, like the i30 N."