Hyundai announced its next high-performance N-tuned car is right around the corner in a series of Christmas-themed Instagram posts. It didn't identify the model, but it looks like the firm is giving us a peek at the Kona N.
"These days, being a reindeer is all about performance," the first post announces. It shows an antler mounted between the window and the door frame of a model that's relatively tall and fitted with a roof rail. In other words, we're not looking at a sedan, or at a quicker variant of the Veloster. The second post shows a Santa hat on a racing helmet, and it reminds the firm's followers that "even Santa's gotta be safe." Look closely at the variations in the hood's surface, and you'll see the creases are perfectly aligned with those seen on the face-lifted Kona.
Finally, the third post is a video whose caption goes straight to the point by announcing that "a new N model is coming to town." Here again, the video reveals little about the crossover, and it asks more questions than it answers. It shows someone opening a present to find a delicious-looking cake that has a Y-shaped crack going through it. Are we to understand that the Kona N will land with a cake-splitting amount of power? Or, that it will be the naughty member of the Kona range, and that the normal, nice variant would have kept the cake intact? Your guess is as good as ours. Either way, the social media campaign suggests we'll see the next N soon.
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Hyundai is painstakingly developing the Kona N as a full-blown performance model, like the Veloster N and the i30 N sold overseas. It won't be merely a fast-looking family trucklet with a sporty body kit and a wheezing, miserably underpowered lump of an engine under the hood. Earlier rumors claim the model will get either the 2.0-liter turbo four that powers the aforementioned Veloster, or a 2.5-liter turbo four designed for Hyundai's midsize sedans. Its output will lie between 250 and 290 horsepower, and we're guessing all-wheel-drive will come standard.
Transmission options remain under wraps; an automatic is a given, but Hyundai could surprise us by making a six-speed manual available. Bigger brakes and numerous suspension modifications will keep the power in check.
Hyundai will unveil the Kona N during the first half of 2021, and sales will start for the 2022 model year. It will slot above the N Line trim as a range-topping model likely priced in the vicinity of $30,000.
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