Hyundai dealers are now accepting orders for the 280PS Kona N performance SUV.
It’s the Korean brand’s first ‘hot’ crossover, taking inspiration from the i20 N and i30 N.
The car eclipses the power output of the recently launched Ford Puma ST by some 80PS, putting it firmly in the sights of the Audi SQ2 and Volkswagen T-Roc R.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. With 280PS and 392Nm, the Kona N can sprint to 62mph from rest in 5.5 seconds and reach 149mph.
The car provides three driving modes to alter its character. N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90% throttle, mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels.
N Grin Shift (NGS) maximises engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds, directly shifting down to the most appropriate gear and delivers maximum performance with one press of the NGS button. After the “boost” has ended, drivers must wait at least 40 seconds to use it again.
N Track Sense Shift (NTS) optimises gearshifts for racetrack driving, helping the driver to focus more on steering. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, the car selects the right gear and shift timing during track driving to provide optimal performance.
The Kona N is fitted with adaptive dampers, which can be adjusted by the driver using a switch on the dashboard. The car also features an electronically controlled differential, to further enhance driveability.
The exterior design features large air openings at the front, to fulfil the cooling needs of the N-tuned engine. The front splitter of the bumper has been increased in size by 10mm to improve aerodynamic drag and balance.
At the rear, the large, double-wing roof spoiler dominates the view, alongside an iconic triangular third brake light.
A lowered ride-height, N-exclusive alloy wheels in a dark satin finish, red brake callipers and exclusive side sills in red complete the N performance design.
Ashley Andrew, managing director of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “In a short space of time the Hyundai N brand has developed a fiercely loyal and enthusiastic following for its dedication to performance as well as usability. Kona N follows in the footsteps of i30 N and i20 N by delivering a driving experience that, we believe, is more thrilling than any competitors and, as confirmed by this latest announcement, at a price that represents extremely good value for money.”