Hyundai Kona N, compact crossover puts the turbo and goes bad

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With the new Kona N, Hyundai enters a territory that is currently the prerogative of only two car groups, BMW and Volkswagen. The new version of the Korean compact crossover, in fact, has been designed for high performance and so under the front hood is the same 2-liter 4-cylinder petrol, turbocharged and direct injection, of the i30 N. An engine that in this configuration delivers 280 CV and 390 Nm of torque. Numbers that transform the quiet Kona into a small beast thirsty for asphalt, given that the top speed reaches 240 km / h and the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h takes 5.5 seconds. The latter is a record value, considering that the drive wheels are only the front ones.

Evidently the 8-speed double clutch automatic transmission (in oil bath) and the launch control work quite well. But beyond the figures, the Kona N could surprise with its road behavior, if its character is similar to that of the i30 N, which is one of the most popular “hot hatches” of recent years thanks to its tough and pure soul. , although in the case of the Kona the manual transmission will not be available. In fact, compared to the various X2, Q2, Formentor and T-Roc – all four-wheel drive – this Kona seems a little more extreme and, in any case, at 4.21 meters in length it is the most compact of the lot. The changes to the bodywork, in fact, are not so discreet, in fact they are rather aggressive, including the dual tailpipes with active valve, which we hope to emit the same angry sound as that of the i30 N.

The satin dark-colored alloy wheels are 19-inch and are fitted with Pirelli PZero tires in the size 235/40. Inside, on the other hand, the customization concerns the (digital) instrumentation graphics and head-up display, the sports steering wheel with the two configurable N buttons, the specific upholstery and the sports seats. Returning, however, to driving on the Kona N there are four modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, N – plus the customizable one; Added to this are the traction control adjustments – Snow, Deep Snow, Mud and Sand – and the ESC which can be set to sport or completely disengaged. Sportier drivers will appreciate the fact that the gearbox does not automatically shift to the next gear when it comes to the limiter, as well as three additional features dedicated to the most dynamic driving.

The N Power Shift is activated with the accelerator pressed over 90%: it does not reduce torque, but creates a burst in the exhaust thanks to the partial cut of the power supply. The N Grin Shift is a 10hp overboost that lasts for 20 seconds and then needs a rest for another 40 to be used again. The N Track Sense Shift, finally, allows you to automate the changes for use on the track. Hyundai has not yet declared the time to market and the official Italian price of the Kona N, but it will probably be closer to 40,000 euros than 30,000.


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