Hyundai today provided top U.S. media the first opportunity to drive it’s exhilarating Kona N high performance SUV at a Santa Cruz media event. Hyundai’s Kona N conveys its high-performance philosophy and ambition for sustainable driving fun.
Kona N is not only the latest addition to Hyundai’s growing high performance N lineup, it is also the first N model with a versatile SUV body configuration. It offers a winning combination of versatility, spirited acceleration, handling agility and racetrack readiness.
“We are thrilled to share the mindset, spirit and vision of the N brand to be a leader in the high-performance category powered by traditional internal combustion engines as well as our proven industry-leading battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicle technologies,” said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Customer Experience Division at Hyundai Motor Company. “Our continuously growing and more balanced N portfolio will open new high-performance options, delivering the ‘grin factor’ no matter what the propulsion technology or body type may be.”
Powerful and Agile Performance
With technology inspired by motorsports, the N brand excels at delivering driving enthusiasm by providing racetrack capabilities and ‘corner rascal’ ride and handling character in everyday sports cars, and the Kona N is no exception.
“Kona N is a true hot SUV with the performance level of a hot hatch. It breaks the rule that SUVs are less fun to drive. As an N model, it goes beyond the limits of an ordinary SUV,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “Kona N can carve corners on the racetrack and bring excitement to everyday driving.”
Kona N is powered by a flat-power, 2.0-liter, turbocharged and intercooled, direct-injected engine with an N eight-speed wet, dual-clutch transmission (N DCT) with paddle shifters. This N DCT is the enhanced version of Hyundai’s in-house developed N DCT, an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission. For N models, the N DCT received improvements in durability, allowing it to handle the heat and torque demands of high-performance vehicles. With the 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine, it gives optimum performance by utilizing unique gear ratios. The transmission control unit is calibrated for N, resulting in quicker shifts, and enabling a full range of exclusive driving features ― including N Grin Shift (NGS), N Power Shift (NPS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS) — that amplify the driving experience.
The powertrain delivers a maximum output of 276 horsepower from 5500-6000 rpm and 289 lb.-ft. of torque from 2100-4700 rpm. With the N Grin Shift turbo Overboost function the power is temporarily increased to 286 horsepower, maximizing driving fun. The engine offers flat power technology that ensures consistent acceleration through a wider rpm range for even more thrills on the road or racetrack.
Hyundai implemented the N Corner Carving Differential, an electronic, limited-slip differential (E-LSD) on Kona N for optimized torque distribution to driven wheels, delivering more precise control when carving corners. Kona N also is equipped with 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels, high-performance brakes, and tires.
Kona N comes with Launch Control, Variable Exhaust System and most notably, N Grin Control System. N Grin Control System offers customers a high level of customization, with five distinct drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom. These drive modes change the character of the Kona N by adjusting the driving parameters of the engine, Electronic Stability Control, exhaust note, and steering feel, optimizing each for a variety of driving conditions.
Kona N Technical specifications
|Dimensions (in.)||Overall length||165.9|
|Overall height (w/roof rails)||61.6|
|Engine||2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled, direct-injected w/flat-power tuning|
|Transmission||Eight-speed wet-type DCT (N DCT)|
|Curb weight (lbs.)||3,340|
|Power and Torque (HP/lb.-ft.)||276/289|
Game-like Driving Feedback Experience
Kona N is equipped with a new 10-inch infotainment and digital cluster system featuring an exclusive racing display that adds a game-like dimension with N or Sport driving modes. The new infotainment system’s ‘N mode design’ which provides digitalized elements, communicates updates such as lap time and N track maps with other performance data. The Kona N also maximizes driving fun and excitement using various widgets with excellent visibility that allow easy access to important drive information in real time such as boost pressure, throttle position, and oil/engine temperature. Just like popular racing video games, Kona N has customizable N buttons that can be set to toggle driver-defined custom modes. The custom modes can be pre-set according to each driver’s preferences. The buttons can also activate the lap timer.
Sporty Design and Powerful Presence
Kona N embodies a powerful road presence and driving fun that is true to N brand, and its dynamic driving spirit is clearly expressed by its sporty design. The combination of body-colored fenders and 19-inch alloy wheels provides its wide, confident stance. These fenders emphasize the rich volume of its muscular body, giving it a road-hugging appearance. Kona N-specific, 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero summer tires fill out all four corners to elevate Kona N’s powerful visual impression.
The N-exclusive Sonic Blue exterior color is a new derivative of N Performance Blue, the most prominent N brand color. Sonic Blue creates an exciting contrast with the N-exclusive red accent that skirts the lower edge of the body. Kona N’s front lip spoiler, double-wing roof spoiler and side valance enhance aerodynamic efficiency and communicate racetrack readiness. The wide lower air intake dominates the front bumper with a shape inspired by aeronautics, providing needed engine cooling during hot laps and spirited driving. The double-wing roof spoiler, integrated with an N-specific triangular brake light, enhances downforce while providing visual flair.
The interior also conveys the N spirit with brand-specific details such as the Performance Blue color accents on the N sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Comprehensive ADAS, Safety and Convenience
Kona N offers a full array of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Alert (RCCA) and Safe Exit Warning (SEW).
Also available is Bluetooth multi-connection support and an enhanced natural language voice recognition system that incorporates Speech-to-Meaning® and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies, adding coherence and convenience to the daily driving experience. Kona N convenience features include Digital Key, automatic temperature control, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, proximity key with push-button start, Harman Kardon® premium audio and dual front USB outlets.
N Brand: ‘Never Just Drive’
N’s mission is to push the limits of performance to help drivers discover how fun driving can be. With that in mind, Hyundai has revealed the N Brand’s new brand claim, ‘Never Just Drive.’ This claim fully captures the N mindset and spirit: “Do more than simply drive. Enjoy every second of it.” Since its debut in 2013, the N brand has built a fervent following with its winning combination of everyday sports cars and its rapid rise in rally and customer racing. Together with its Motorsport division, N brand has logged victories at multiple races, including the FIA World Rally Championship, the TCR International Series, Pirelli World Challenge and Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race.
Every high-performance N model is designed by passionate experts and engineered at the Hyundai Motor Namyang R&D Center. Throughout development they are tested at the Nürburgring in Germany, one of the world’s most demanding racetracks. Through this painstaking process, N technology has been refined and born. N brand derives its name from both Namyang and Nürburgring.
“As a successful challenger in the performance category for almost four years and proactive player of Hyundai brand, N addresses and adapts to the upcoming changes in the performance category,” said Till Wartenberg, Vice President of N brand Management & Motorsport Sub-Division at Hyundai Motor Company. “Driving was never meant to be boring and with N. It never will be. This is reflected with our new N brand slogan ‘Never just drive.’ And will also be the guiding principle of the future electrification of Hyundai N.”