Published on April 27th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai Kona N Is A Performance Beast
The Hyundai Kona N is a high-performance take on the popular compact crossover.
Today, Hyundai Motor revealed the all-new Kona N. This is the first-ever performance-oriented Kona model, as the pre-facelift model did not get the N treatment. This is also a genuine performance model, unlike the Kona N Line, which only features aesthetic upgrades.
The Hyundai Kona N is powered by a 2-litre inline 4 turbocharged direct injection petrol motor that outputs 280PS and 392Nm of torque. That’s really on the high side of what can be expected of a 2-litre motor. All that power is sent to the front wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission tuned by Hyundai’s N division. This allows for a 0-100km/h time of just 5.5 seconds.
The body has been reinforced with additional weld points and a reinforced skeleton. Revised strut rings help reduce roll through the corners. Higher friction brakes with larger rotors help bring this 1510kg little crossover to a halt.
The car also gets lightweight 19″ forged alloy wheels, specially-developed sports seats and a pumped in engine and exhaust sounds through the speakers.
Hyundai N also added an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD), various Electronic Stability Control modes, Launch Control and more.
The Hyundai Kona N adds red accents, a front splitter and more aggressive front bumper to the exterior kit. The lower grille has a more aerodynamic design with a mesh grille. Body-coloured cladding has been added to the rest of the body.
An N logo has been added and the Hyundai emblem has been moved from the bonnet to the grille. The rear features a triangular third brake light, a double wing roof spoiler and a large diffuser. Red brake callipers and the aforementioned N wheels are the biggest draw from the side.
The Hyundai Kona N also gets a special Sonic Blue colour with Tomato Red accents, but Performance Blue and 5 other colours are also available.
Here’s the press release with more.
The all-new Hyundai KONA N is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre T-GDI engine with a power output of 280 PS and a maximum torque of 392 Nm. It features flat power that provides more torque and power at mid and high-range RPMs. The new higher amount of torque utilises more of the engine’s potential in everyday driving situations. The new engine power characteristic also improves acceleration in the mid and high-speed range and delivers high performance consistently, even in a variety of outside temperature conditions.
The all-new Hyundai KONA N is available with N DCT, an 8-speed, wet-type transmission with two separated clutches for better acceleration and a faster upshift. The wet type clutches further provide for better cooling. Hyundai’s N DCT technology was first offered in the VELOSTER N, a model available in North America and Korea, and came to the new Hyundai i30 N because of the valuable feedback of the Hyundai N community. In the case of the all-new KONA N, Hyundai has specified all units with N DCT.
The N DCT enables three exclusive high-performance functions that are sure to bring a grin to the driver’s face: N Power Shift, N Grin Shift, and N Track Sense Shift. These features enhance the car’s capabilities by using dedicated shift logic management.
N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 per cent of throttle, thereby mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels. This enhances driving fun by giving a “push feel” when upshifting. The accompanying bang sound, coming from the partial cylinder cut of the exhaust, underlines the sporty performance. When NPS is used while the Launch Control function is active, the all-new KONA N can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds. NPS activates exclusively on N or Custom mode.
N Grin Shift (NGS) maximises engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds. To achieve maximum acceleration, the car will directly shift down to the most appropriate gear. To activate, the driver pushes a dedicated button on the steering wheel, and a countdown begins on the cluster showing the remaining seconds for this function. After the “boost” has ended, drivers must wait at least 40 seconds to use it again. This feature allows the driver to use the full potential of the car with only one button – for example, when chasing for the best lap time. It can also be a benefit when overtaking or merging on a highway.
Meanwhile, N Track Sense Shift (NTS) optimises adaptive shift for racetrack driving, helping the driver to focus more on steering. It recognises when the conditions are optimal for dynamic driving on a racetrack and activates automatically. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, the car selects the right gear and shift timing in sport driving conditions to provide optimal performance, just like a professional race car driver.
Unlike with a traditional automatic transmission vehicle, in Hyundai vehicles with N DCT, the driver can choose to turn the Creep off. When the creep function is turned “OFF” and the car is in gear D, the car does not automatically roll when the brake pedal is released. Depending on the driver, this racetrack feature can also be useful to enhance comfort and convenience. Creep Off mode can be activated or deactivated via the N custom settings.
The all-new KONA N with N DCT also offers drivers the option to switch to manual mode using the paddle shifters or the gear knob. The memory logic will prevent the transmission from automatically upshifting when the RPM limit is reached. That way, manual control allows the driver to sustain high revs when needed for an even sportier driving experience.
High-performance driving features
The all-new Hyundai KONA N introduces the N brand into the SUV line-up without compromising on driving pleasure or performance. The ‘hot SUV’ includes a range of N dedicated functions previously introduced by other N models. KONA N is, furthermore, the first Hyundai high-performance vehicle to be equipped with a Performance Head-Up Display (HUD). When turned on in Sport or N mode, information such as RPM, speed, or shift indicator appear.
The N Grin Control System offers customers a high level of customisation, with five distinct drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom. These drive modes change the character of the all-new KONA N by adjusting the operating parameters of the engine, Electronic Stability Control, exhaust sound, and steering to optimise them for a variety of driving conditions. In the Custom mode, drivers can select settings from a variety of other driving modes (Normal, Sport and Sport+) to match their driving preferences and the road conditions. Dedicated N keys on the steering wheel of all-new KONA N flexibly allow any type of pre-sets to be mapped according to individual needs.
For a more emotional driving experience, a sporty engine sound from the exhaust and intake noise is supported by the Electronic Sound Generator (ESG) in the body panel. In the cabin, at the base of the windscreen, an engine sound generator provides some extra acoustic drama to match the mood of the driver. Variable muffler control also contributes to the perfect exhaust sound to provide the perfect driving experience. The Variable Exhaust Valve System comes standard with the all-new KONA N.
As with other Hyundai N models, the all-new KONA is equipped with Launch Control, which helps the car take off from a standing start on dry conditions like a professional race driver. It does this by controlling the engine torque at take-off.
Improved ride and handling features for uncompromised SUV driving
In addition to its racetrack capabilities, the all-new Hyundai KONA N is at heart still an SUV. An extensive list of ride and handling features result in uncompromised SUV driving abilities. With specially developed 235/40R19 Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tyres that deliver maximum grip mounted on lightweight 19-inch forged alloy wheels, the ‘hot SUV’ is ready to tackle rough roads and a variety of terrain. A high-performance braking system delivering stability in changing driving conditions has been added for additional safety. In it, the increased front and rear disc brakes take in extra air through the enlarged intakes on either side of the car’s front bumper for an enhanced cooling function. The application of high friction calliper material, a lower arm guide, and a heat shield maximise brake performance through better cooling and high heat endurance capacity.
Passive safety is increased thanks to the all-new KONA N’s enhanced body rigidity. The body’s extra welding points, improved strut ring structure, and reinforced skeleton protect passengers in the event of a collision. Additionally, the all-new KONA N’s body rigidity also minimises body roll during manoeuvres.
Hyundai N models offer a new level of precision and responsiveness in its steering, delivering great value to the driver: The all-new KONA N enhances its base car with a specific Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering system (R-MDPS) with higher capacity, increased rigidity, and lower steering ratio. The electric steering assist system located in the steering gear provides direct and accurate steering with a good level of feedback as required by a high-performance vehicle. The driver can choose between three different steering settings (Normal, Sport and Sport+) to provide ideal steering efforts for different experiences, such as urban driving, country roads, or racetracks.
The all-new Hyundai KONA N is also equipped with an Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS) to control the dampening force, which further enhances handling and stability. Drivers can influence the stiffness of the suspension with the push of a button to optimise the vehicle’s response for a variety of driving situations, whether on the road or at the racetrack.
For a maximised racetrack feel, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can be switched off. ESC typically stabilises the vehicle during cornering manoeuvres by detecting any loss of traction and applying the brakes to individual wheels. This ensures better handling and vehicle stability in unexpected road conditions or difficult terrains. The ESC of the all-new KONA N comes with three modes for a customisable driving experience. “ESC – ON” provides full stability and is optimised for dry, wet, or snowy conditions and provides more safety during everyday driving. “ESC – SPORT” is optimised for racetrack driving. When the ESC is switched off completely, the vehicle does not implement any engine or brake interventions for stabilisation. Rather, it allows for dynamic torque vectoring, creating more dynamic vehicle behaviour. “ESC – OFF” is optimised for experienced racetrack drivers.
Additionally, a Traction Control System (TCS) controls the driving force behind the wheels according to driving conditions to maximise traction and minimise slippage under off-road conditions. If the system detects that a wheel is spinning faster than the detected speed of the vehicle, the TCS adjusts the engine output through continuous feedback. By pushing the Drive Mode button, the driver can select from four different Traction Modes for better handling over a variety of road conditions using the front-wheel-drive: Snow Mode provides maximum stability in slippery or icy roads. Deep Snow enables more wheel spin, enabling more traction to avoid being stuck in deep snow. Mud Mode features medium wheel spin to allow the car to launch on muddy surfaces. Sand Mode enables a higher wheel spin for launch on sandy surfaces. Traction Modes are active between 0 and 60 km/h.
Meanwhile, the all-new Hyundai KONA N’s N Corner Carving Differential, an Electronically-controlled Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD), enables excellent performance while cornering. This feature allows the wheels to turn at different speeds by applying different amounts of torque, depending on the load transfer from the inner to the outer front axle wheel. This reduces wheel slip in specific conditions and minimises understeering while cornering. N Corner Carving Differential also allows drivers to round corners at higher speeds, making the all-new KONA N even more fun to drive.
In addition, the N Power Sense Axle at the front combined with a multi-link type rear suspension provides enhanced stiffness for improved ride and handling performance.
Advanced safety features for everyday driving
As with the new base car, the all-new Hyundai KONA N is available with an extensive list of Hyundai SmartSense active safety and convenience features for added peace of mind. This is an important aspect of the everyday sports car pillar of KONA N as it makes the model safer and more convenient in everyday driving situations. Systems such as Rear Seat Alert and Safe Exit Warning specifically contribute to the protection of all passengers.
All-new KONA N Hyundai SmartSense active safety features:
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) – sounds a warning and applies differential braking to prevent the vehicle from colliding into another vehicle in the adjacent lane
- Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA) – sounds a warning and applies the brakes to prevent a rear-end collision when the car is backing up and another car comes from the side, for example when exiting a parking space
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC) – maintains vehicle speed and following distance
- Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA) – if the car is stopped, the car ahead of it starts moving, and the driver does not react quickly enough, this system sounds an alert to gently direct the driver’s attention back to the road
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) – automatically keeps the car centred in the lane, corrects course if the car reaches the lane markings by using a front-view camera
- Lane Following Assist (LFA) – automatically adjusts the steering wheel to keep the vehicle centred in its lane
- Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW) – recognises road signs and displays the speed limit and no-passing signs in real-time in both the AVN and cluster
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW) – works to prevent an accident when the car is parked, another car is approaching from the rear side, and a passenger attempts to open the door. A warning light also appears on the cluster to alert the driver of the potential danger
- Rear Seat Alert (RSA) – automatically alerts the driver if someone or something is in the back seat if they attempt to leave the vehicle
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA) – sounds an alarm and, if necessary, applies the brakes if a collision becomes imminent. Using radar and a camera, the system has been updated to better detect pedestrians and cyclists, in addition to other vehicles
- High Beam Assist (HBA) – detects both oncoming vehicles and vehicles ahead in the same lane and adjusts to low-beam lights as appropriate
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW) – continuously monitors and analyses driving patterns through data inputs to detect fatigue or distraction. The driver is alerted with an audible warning and pop-up message to suggest when it is time to take a break
Other safety features:
- eCall – allows passengers to easily contact emergency services at the press of a button; also, automatically alerts first responders if the vehicle’s airbags are deployed
Tech and connectivity
The tech and connectivity equipment in the all-new Hyundai KONA N focuses on enhancing all driving experiences. The Performance Head-Up Display (HUD) projects vehicle information onto a transparent screen. It allows the driver to see relevant navigation, safety, and driving information while keeping their eyes on the road. It can be activated and deactivated with a button on the dash panel.
The all-new KONA N additionally comes with a 10.25-inch digital N cluster with a sporty design and a 10.25-inch AVN touchscreen. A Performance Driving Data System monitors and improves racetrack driving skills. The feature saves and displays driving data, such as PS, torque, and turbo boost, during racetrack driving via AVN touchscreen. The system also comes with a lap and acceleration timer. When driving in Sport or N mode, the N graphics will also be shown at HUD.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluelink® Connected Car Services make the everyday driving experience even in a high-performance vehicle more convenient. The all-new KONA N is also equipped with additional voice recognition features. Drivers can activate and control features like climate, rear window and side mirror heating, as well as steering wheel heating through a simple voice command.
The all-new KONA N benefits from Hyundai’s comprehensive five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
- Dimensions (LxWxH; WB): 4,215mm x 1,800mm x 1,565mm; 2,600mm
- Engine: Smartstream 2.0-litre T-GDI w/ flat power
- Transmission: 8-speed wet-type DCT (N DCT)
- Weight: 1,510 kg
- Power: 280 PS
- Torque: 392 Nm
- Top speed: 240km/h
- Acceleration 0-100km/h: 5.5s with Launch Control