Hyundai South Africa has confirmed that it'll be launching a performance version of its Kona crossover. While this vehicle doesn't officially exist yet, we had to do some digging.
Officially, this car has not been revealed yet and there's very little info to go on. However, a performance crossover for Hyundai makes a good business case for itself. Locally, the news of the performance i30 N hatchback finally making its way to SA has got the petrolheads excited and the Koreans recently launched updated versions of its hotted-up Tucson Sports, complete with engine upgrades and bold styling.
It was the local launch of the latter where Hyundai SA confirmed that it'll be bringing the Kona N to market in 2020. There are no official details and specifications of this vehicle, but we can make some reasonably accurate assumptions. Given the costs of research and development, it would make no sense to invest in an all-new powertrain and fortunately, the Koreans already have a package which has been well received by the petrolhead community. It is highly likely the Hyundai Kona N will be powered by the same setup as the i30 N hatchback.
Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann (formerly of BMW M) told Auto Express back in May 2020 that the Kona N work has already begun. “I’ve told them [the engineers] to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” said Biermann. “It has to be the i30 N powertrain, really. Of course, we can give Kona different specifications on suspension and steering, although there are some common components we can use in that area as well, because it’ll be front-wheel drive, like the i30 N. But we already know that it has to be that car’s engine and gearbox for the Kona N, yes.”
Final performance is yet to be determined. As in the case of the i30 N, there are two versions available, both powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In the most powerful form, there's 202 kW and 353 Nm on tap and 184 kW and 353 Nm in standard form. Given those outputs, we estimate the Kona to be capable of around 6 seconds to 100 kph.