Saturday, February 4, 2023
News Hyundai Kona N Spotted Testing On The Nürburgring

Hyundai Kona N Spotted Testing On The Nürburgring

From the looks of this video, we’re not too far away from seeing a Hyundai Kona N pouncing on sport compact cars.


  • Hyundai is sprucing up its N brand.

  • The Kona N has been rumoured for over two years.

  • It looks surprisingly at home lapping the Nürburgring.


The idea of a Hyundai Kona N has always intrigued us. At the moment, there are no true compact performance SUVs in North America. This footage shows everyone that this may change very soon.

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The prototypes in the video are disguised. As such, we can’t comment on the visual enhancements the Kona N will get, other than what looks to be an intercooler opening in the front bumper, the N-style alloy wheels, and the larger disc brakes behind them. On a few occasions, we can clearly spot the large twin tailpipes.

2019 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Ultimate AWD
2019 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Ultimate AWD | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Autocar thinks that the Kona N will be powered by a 200-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder – this would not be sufficient to earn the N badge in North America. We already have access to a 175-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-litre which is why we think this Kona N will share the Veloster N’s 275-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. We also assume it will be fitted with AWD.

The last mostly-sporty small SUV was the Subaru Forester XT. There are a few currently available compact SUVs with a turbocharged engine like the 250-horsepower Ford Escape and 227-horsepower Mazda CX-5 turbo but neither are sports-SUVs per se. If Hyundai is set to take its N brand to the next level (they’ve just canned the regular non-N Veloster) then it will be the only one of its kind for now. That is if we exclude the 302-horsepower Toyota RAV4 Prime, which we guess we can.

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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