Hot and hip Kona N expands Hyundai SUV range

It breaks the mold by offering drivers a sporty design and hatch performance.

This latest member of the N brand comes with a four-cylinder 2.0 T-GDI 206kW flat power engine. Various motorsport-inspired features contribute to a dynamic driving experience. These include lightweight, 19-inch forged alloy wheels and an emotional sound experience.

To embody the N product philosophy with its three pillars, the all-new Kona N comes with a range of high-performance functionalities: Electronic limited slip differential (e-LSD) and its various electronic stability control (ESC) modes have been optimised to improve cornering.

Traction mode ensures that traction can be established across a variety of road conditions while the N grin control system offers five drive modes across all N models (eco, normal, sport, N and custom) contribute to its everyday sports car character. Finally, features such as launch control or creep off ensure full racetrack capability.

Exterior design

The exterior design features understated design elements with N-exclusive red accents. The combination of body-coloured claddings and the 19-inch wheels provides the Kona N with its wide, confident stance. The body-coloured fenders emphasise the rich volume of the B-SUV’s muscular body, giving Kona N a close-to-the-ground appearance. An exclusive front grille design, with its dedicated mesh, an integrated N logo, and the aggressive light signature of the new KONA, complete the vehicle’s powerful front-on appearance. The Hyundai emblem, in dark satin grey, was moved down from the bonnet to lower the front focal point.

Interior design

Inside, the all-new Kona N offers a performance-oriented look and feel optimised for high-performance driving. It is equipped with high-quality materials and metal pedals. One feature that stands out is the N-exclusive sport steering wheel, which features a design optimised for the perfect grip and button layout necessary for dynamic driving.

Two customisable N buttons on the steering wheel allow for any type of preset to be mapped according to individual needs for even more ease of operation and paddle shifters make it possible for the driver to switch gears without taking their hands off the wheel.

The handbrake features non-slip perforated leather and a thicker grip area for a more secure braking performance. Customers will also notice the exclusive performance blue as well as N logos throughout the car – on the gear shift, handbrake, door scuff and seats.


The all-new Kona N is propelled by a turbocharged 2.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine with a power output of 206kW and 392Nm. It is equipped 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.

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.

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.


The all-new Kona N is 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 stabilises the vehicle during cornering 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 customised 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.

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 steering settings (normal, sport and sport+) to provide ideal steering efforts for different experiences, such as urban driving, country roads, or racetracks.


The recommended retail price of the new Hyundai Kona 2.0 N DCT is R749 900 (including VAT). As part of the standard package, the customer also gets Hyundai’s seven-year / 200 000km manufacturer warranty; a five-year / 75 000km service plan; and roadside assistance for seven years or 150 000km.

Source: QuickPic

Matthys Ferreira

Served in SAPS for 22 years - specialised in forensic and crime scene investigation and forensic photography. A stint in photographic sales and management followed. Been the motoring editor at Lowveld Media since 2007. "A petrol head I am not but I am good at what I do".
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