Hyundai N mulls hot Kona SUV

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2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

A hot version of the Kona SUV will eventuate, if the boss of Hyundai's new N performance division has his way.

In an interview with Auto Express published Wednesday, Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann revealed that he's already tasked his engineers with starting work on a potential Kona N in order to persuade senior management to give it the green light for production.

“I’ve told them [the engineers] to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” he said.

He also said that any Kona N would benefit from the same powertrain and chassis upgrades that existing Hyundai N models like the Veloster N (shown below) and i30 N have received. At the top of the list would be the tuner's 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, which at present offers outputs ranging from 246 to 275 horsepower.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Given the current popularity of SUVs, a Kona N seems like a no-brainer, especially with Volkswagen known to be developing a T-Roc R and Nissan offering the Juke Nismo RS.

The Kona is a new introduction for 2018 and at present is offered exclusively with a 2.0-liter inline-4 good for 147 hp. An electric version with 201 hp and 292 miles of range has been revealed and is expected for 2019.

While it might be some time still until we see a Kona N, the Hyundai N division will introduce next year a tuned version of the i30 Fastback sold overseas. The tuner is also preparing a range of “N Line” performance upgrades for regular Hyundai models.

 
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