South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor has fully unveiled the all-new Kona N, adding the first sport utility vehicle to its high-performance N Line.
The launch of the new SUV and the emphasis placed on the N Line are the Korean car giant’s strategy to subdivide sport-inspired products from conventional trims, which are swiftly evolving into eco-friendly battery-operated frames.
The company held an online world premier named “Hyundai N Day” on Tuesday to fully unveil the look and performance of the all-new Kona N.
The new SUV comes with a 2.0 Turbo GDI engine of 280 horsepower, providing more torque and power at mid and high speeds.
With the N-exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, the vehicle weight can be reduced by 12 kilograms to gain speed on the road.
“Hyundai Motor’s N has been steering the company’s vehicle production capacities by applying high-performance technologies to its affiliated models,” said Albert Biermann, head of the carmaker’s R&D Division.
“We will continue to keep up with the demands of customers who crave high performance and exceptional driving experience.”
Hyundai Motor’s N Line is an exclusive range that was inspired by motor sports and marked for sporty design elements and aerodynamics best fitted for invigorating driving rush.
The “N” refers to the carmaker’s Namyang R&D Center, where both Hyundai Motor and its sister brand Kia test their upcoming new vehicles, according to officials.
The first N-branded vehicle to hit the market was the i30 N hatchback, which was followed by sporty model Veloster N.
The most conspicuous functional feature of the Kona N is its eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission, known as N DCT, which is the enhanced version of the company’s in-house developed 8DCT. The N DCT applied to the latest Kona N is an advanced version of the one applied previously to Veloster N and i30 N, with improved durability and unique gear ratios, officials said.
Also, the wet-type DCT provides a performance similar to a manual transmission, making the delivery of engine power and response to gear changes more efficient.
“The addition of the N DCT allows us to expand on the N brand’s ‘Fun to Drive’ philosophy,” said Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, vice president of marketing & product at Hyundai Motor Europe.
“By integrating it into the all-new KONA N, we’re enabling all sorts of high-performance driving features and turning the KONA N into a true ‘hot SUV.’”
N DCT was tested on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife, a racing circuit in Germany that is renowned for its challenging courses full of winding corners. The racetrack is also home to Hyundai Motor’s own testing center.
Reflecting its inspiration from motor sports and racing tracks, Kona N displays a number of features suited for speed driving — including a muscular body, air optimized silhouette, double wing roof spoiler and a comprehensive entertaining environment.
Simon Loasby, vice president of the automaker’s styling group, put forward the sonic blue color that is exclusive for Kona N.
Regarding the automotive industry’s fast ongoing transition to eco-friendly vehicles, the automaker said that its N Brand will also face further changes down the road to meet the market demands.
“We have rolled out several models under the N Line to provide differentiated driving fun and this core value will be valid, regardless of the operating method of the car,” said Thomas Schemera, global chief marking officer.
Underlining that “full-fledged efforts are currently underway” for sustainable changes, R&D chief Biermann also added that the N Line may also undergo changes to embrace battery or hydrogen fuel cell systems.