Hyundai has been spied putting the Kona N through finishing school at Germany's infamous Nurburgring, and the Korean brand's new go-fast SUV sounds pretty damn good as it is put through its paces.
The Kona looks finished, with the only task left to strip off the camouflage cladding ahead of a reported July unveiling. Just as important, it sounds finished, too, and it appears to have been fitted with same exhaust that makes the i30 N hatch such a hoot to drive through tunnels.
We should know for ourselves soon enough, with Hyundai in Australia telling CarsGuide it wants an "N performance family" that includes the Kona.
"We've made no secret of the fact our focus is on building an N performance family, and so we will of course be studying the business case for any new product that should become available, including an AWD SUV" says Hyundai Australia spokesperson Guido Schenken.
The Kona N is expected to borrow the same turbocharged 2.0-litre engine as the i30 N, which packs a 202kW and 353Nm wallop. You can expect AWD, sportier suspension, extra body stiffening and a booming exhaust, too.
This film follows reports the Hyundai Kona N could debut as early as July, and will be packing an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox when it does.
That "unbelievable" gearbox, which has been some time in the making, is the same that will power automatic versions of the i30 N, as well as upcoming go-fast product. But it's not exclusive to the performance side of the business, with the group's N Division chief Albert Biermann confirming the gearbox will also find a home in other Hyundai products.
"It will also go into other vehicles, not only into an N. But when it lives in an N it (feels) a different transmission," he says.
"It’s our own in-house development, and we did it so it can meet many cars, but the way we’re applying it and tuning it in an N is a whole different story to how we would for an SUV.
”You could never tell it's the same transmission. The ’N Mode’ is unbelievable.”