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Sunday, June 4, 2023

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The Hyundai KONA N is a muscular little SUV

The Hyundai Kona has been to the gym.


The make has revealed a KONA N version of the subcompact utility vehicle, and as the all-caps name suggests, it aims to be a baby barbarian.

It’s Hyundai’s first high-performance style, and it says it has the spirit of a classic hot hatchback trapped inside of its high-riding practical body.


The KONA N is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 276 hp in European spec and that it can boost to 286 hp in short bursts.


The power goes to the front wheels only through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, so it’s not an off-roader, unless you count race tracks as off-road.


Hyundai tuned the handling on Germany’s famed Nurburgring and is promoting it as a true track day vehicle that includes a head-up display equipped with a lap timer and circuit map that, in a twist, delivers a “gaming experience” in the real world.


The KONA N features deep sport seats, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tires. It can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 149 mph, according to Hyundai.

Pricing and final market specifications have not been announced, but the KONA N goes on sale in the U.S. this fall.

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