Hyundai has previewed its high-powered Kona N ahead of its debut. Our Editor gives us a low down on this impressive piece of work from Hyundai. The N or Namyang is tagged on special models with a sporty flair. The latest being the Kona N which has a comparable price tag matching the GLA45.
Bred on the Green Hell
You know how various manufacturers develop their cars at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany? Some have permanent test centres in the industry park and other locations surrounding the circuit. Hyundai’s R&D center is one of the biggest centers there. They are that committed to their N performance brand.
Just like the GLA 45, there’s a turbocharged 2.0 direct injection 4 cylinder engine under the hood. Which puts out 280PS and 400Nm. Which is only 20Nm shy off the Mk8 Golf R, and 50Nm shy of the GLA45.
Transmission to match power
Called the N DCT, this 8 speed wet dual clutch transmission send the power to the front wheels. The power is mitigated with an Electronic limited slip diff. Think of it as Hyundai’s interpretation of the BMW M Diff, driving the front wheels. This will help mitigate power between the front and left wheels without wasting it on inside wheel spin, and aid with turn in.
Performance optimizing softwares
While the gearbox itself is upgraded to cope with that massive torque figure, there are a few softwares that optimizes shifting and user experience. Hilariously called the N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift, they optimize gear shift, gear holding functions for spirited driving. You even get an additional 10PS boost in N Grin Shift too.
Boosted acceleration with Launch Control
The E-LSD, the shift softwares, and the 8 speed gearbox results in mad acceleration time for a front drive car. It does 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds with launch control. That’s faster than the 5.9 seconds an FK8R Honda Civic Type R will take to hit the same speed.
You get additional welds, reinforced strut rings, and reinforced skeleton. The improve rigidity allows the car to cope with the violent forces of deploying all that torque and acceleration this car is capable off. Also it offers and amazing platform for the chassis engineers to work their magic. Then there’s ‘Corner Rascal’ handling trait, which means the car runs of wider tracks thanks to the forged 19 inch rims. While they havent detailed much about what has been done with the dampers, its noteworthy that former BMW M Division talents are now part of the Hyundai’s R&D team. Rest assured the dampers and brakes are calibrated to cope with high intensity driving.
N Grin Control with 5 drive modes
There are 5 different modes for N Grin Control, which are Eco, Normal, Sport, N mode and Custom. Each modes changes the engine, exhaust, stability control, and steering.
Wild yet functional bodykit
You will not confuse the Kona N to anything else. The front is filled with gaping holes to promote cooling. There’s a twin deck spoiler in the rear to aid aerodynamic. The blistered arches accommodate the bigger wheels. It does not hide its sporting credentials.
Race inspired instrument cluster
The interior features N bucket seats and sports steering wheels. It’s the electronics that makes it feel real special. The heads up display, and the digital instrument cluster is design to mimic the instrument clusters of a racing car. You can even customize these parameters via the 10 inch touchscreen.
The Kona N is a mad hot crossover, which is spiritually similar to the Mercedes Benz GLA 45. Will the Kona N make it to Malaysia? Stay tuned…