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Hyundai Kona could spawn N-tuned model

by Ronan Glon

The hot-rodded Kona would share drivetrain and chassis parts with the Veloster.

Hyundai is open to the idea of building a high-performance, N-badged variant of the Kona, its new entry-level crossover.

"I've told them [the engineers] to build the car and we'll see what happens with getting it approved," Albert Biermann, the head of Hyundai's N division, told British magazine Auto Express during a recent interview.

Biermann added the test mule will use the same 2.0-liter turbo four as the i30 N, a hot hatch we're not getting in North America. The crossover will likely receive the 250-horsepower version of the four, not the 271-horsepower variant that comes with the Performance Pack (and also powers the Veloster N). Front-wheel drive will be the only configuration offered.

The power upgrade will be completed by a new, more aggressive look. The Kona will receive a full body kit including a deeper front bumper, red accents, wider alloy wheels, and a roof-mounted spoiler. The N will sit noticeably lower than the crossover it's based on due to suspension modifications. Some of the suspension, braking, and steering hardware will again come from the i30 N.

There's no word yet on when Hyundai will decide whether or not to build the Kona N (Konan?), and there's no guarantee the model will make the trip to the United States.

Photography by Byron Hurd.