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.
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.
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.