The 2022 Hyundai Kona N boasts 276 horsepower and a front-wheel drivetrain.
The 0 to 100 km/h dash is said to take 5.5 seconds.
An N Grim mode provides a temporary boost of 10 extra horsepower.
A new high-performance crossover will soon hit the market, and it isn’t being introduced by a German luxury brand. The 2022 Hyundai Kona N will seek to shake up the mainstream subcompact utility vehicle segment with power, poise and looks.
Obviously, the Kona N borrows the turbocharged 2.0L inline-four from the Hyundai Veloster N hot hatch, which in this application develops 276 horsepower along with an unconfirmed 260 pound-feet of torque that peaks from 1,450 to 4,700 rpm. Unlike the Veloster that comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and offers an optional dual-clutch, eight-speed automatic transmission, dubbed N DCT, the Kona N features the latter as standard. Hyundai claims a 0-to-100 km/h (0-96 mph) time of 5.5 seconds and a governed top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph).
Although many were expecting the 2022 Hyundai Kona N to boast an all-wheel drivetrain, the engine’s power is sent to the front wheels exclusively. The company believes the crossover is fun to drive as is, while an electronic limited-slip differential will keep things under control and eliminate torque steer. A desire to keep the price down at a reasonable level is also one of the reasons behind this decision. The crossover includes 19-inch forged alloy wheels, performance rubber and high-performance brakes as well. In comparison, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4, BMW X2 M35i and Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC+ all feature AWD.
The flared fenders aren’t purely cosmetic, as the Kona N has a wider track than the crossover’s regular trim levels, and sits lower to the ground too. Three new colors are offered, including the exclusive Sonic Blue, Performance Blue as well as Gravity Gold Matte, which debuted on the upcoming fully electric Hyundai Ioniq 5.
In addition to launch control and the usual drive modes, the Kona N gets what is called the N Grim Control System, which activates a 10-horsepower bonus for temporary 20-second bursts. We’re not sure how a 3.6% power boost will feel in real-world driving, but maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. The N drive mode sharpens throttle response and steering feel, while the exhaust system’s growl turns to a nasty bark. In Europe, the Kona N detects double-curved road signs and automatically suggests activating the N mode.
In the 2022 Hyundai Kona N’s cockpit, we find a 10.25-inch, fully digital driver instrument panel with N specific graphics, alongside a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. The usual slew of advanced safety features will be present and accounted for, such as forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, high beam assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.
The new high-performance variant of the Kona is the fifth Hyundai N model after the i30 N, the i30 Fastback N, the Veloster N and the i20 N—but the second one in Canada and the United States. The company also offers N-Line trims of the refreshed 2022 Kona, the redesigned 2022 Tucson, the redesigned 2021 Elantra and the 2021 Sonata, which receive a sportier appearance, mild suspension and steering tweaks, along with more powerful engines in some cases.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re expecting it to start at about $36,000 in the United States and around the $40,000 mark in Canada. The 2022 Hyundai Kona N should go on sale in the summer of 2021.