The Hyundai Kona Isn’t Known for Speed, but the Kona N Means to Change That

The Hyundai Kona has been a sophisticated, fun drive with good gas mileage. But not everyone is looking for that kind of ride. Some want more zippiness behind the wheel. 

Hyundai News reports that the new Kona N is set to come out soon. How does it compare to the original Kona, and what other N models does Hyundai have?

How far the Hyundai Kona has come in its short life

A dark-gray metalllic 2022 Hyundai Kona N subcompact crossover SUV
2022 Hyundai Kona N | Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Kona debuted in June 2017. It comes in gas-powered and electric versions. The gas-powered Kona packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 147 hp and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Starting at $37,190, the Kona Electric has a front-wheel-drive setup and a 64.0-kWh battery pack. It produces 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. This combination allows the Kona Electric to travel approximately 258 miles on a single charge. 

Cargo space isn’t bad for such a subcompact SUV. Behind the rear seats, you get 19.2 cubic feet of space. It increases if you fold down the last row of seats to reveal 45.8 cubic feet of room for storing all your goodies. 

Now, the newest Kona to come along is one entering Hyundai’s N lineup. The Kona N will offer the same excellent handling as the other models but will offer more speed.  

What the Hyundai Kona N brings to the mix

The Hyundai Kona N has sweet styling and a luxurious interior, but it was built to satisfy a hunger for speed. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. This combination produces a 276 hp

That output comes in handy for acceleration. From 0 to 60 mph, the Hyundai Kona N gets it done in 5.5 seconds. Of course, times could vary with the five different driving modes it comes with. You can slip it into Eco, Normal, Sport, N, or Custom to adapt to whatever type of drive you need. 

It appears the Kona N rides much like the Veloster, with only a 68-pound weight difference. Even the performance is eerily similar to both the crossover and the compact car. The price of this N vehicle still isn’t known yet but could cost around $32,000. 

According to Hyundai, the Kona N will sport an N-Corner Carving differential, an electronically controlled suspension, an active sport exhaust system, and 19-inch N-Design alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires.

As for driver’s assistance features, the Kona N comes with plenty. It offers lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, and safe exit warning, to name a few. 

What other N models does Hyundai plan to produce?

Hyundai plans to expand not only its N lineup but also the N-Line as well, with up to 18 models through 2022. The N-brand will explore more avenues within the e-performance lineup. It’s likely Hyundai might pursue BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and a hydrogen fuel cell motor to power at least a few of them. 

The “Never Just Drive” N-brand slogan encompasses all the N vehicles. Besides the Kona N, Hyundai has the i30 N, i20 N, i30 Fastback N, and the Veloster N. You’ll also notice some of its other models are coming out N-branded as well. Two such examples are the Elantra N and Tucson N. All of them are engineered with the N-line technology, providing consumers with a fast and fun drive. 

RELATED: The 2022 Hyundai Kona N Actually Looks as Fast as It Is