2022 Hyundai Kona N Uncovered – Again [Updated]

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
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2022 hyundai kona n uncovered again updated

Hyundai’s New-for 2022 Kona N has been revealed along with the previously-announced Kona, but this time supposedly without masking. A glimpse was provided to tease viewers, and heighten the hype around what they’re calling an addition to their high-performance N division.

When an automaker has a designation such as Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division, or BMW’s M cars, the assumption is a much higher level of performance and sophistication. So far, the N in this Hyundai isn’t described as much more than a styling tweak here or there as it would if it were an N-line vehicle, and that’s been it for their self-proclaimed motorsport inspiration. With Hyundai Motorsport’s World Rally Championship team winning a second consecutive Manufacturers’ title last year, or as our astute readers pointed out, the differences between the i30N, i30 Fastback N, or Veloster N and their base models, there’s plenty of inspiration, it just doesn’t appear to have made its way to this model yet. But given the difference between the N and N-Line (the former is a performance trim, the other usually signifies an appearance package), it’s almost a given it will.

It’s difficult to get too excited about the headlights or the shape of the grille, and how it was inspired by the fuselage of an airplane. Maybe if it was related to the Kona N’s higher top end speed, or the N logo on the grille was good for another 50 HP, that might raise our level of interest.

If they’ve learned nothing from the Japanese or European marques, it’s that a large double-wing roof spoiler does not make it a performance car. A third triangular brake light is also supposedly competition-inspired, but exactly how? The Kona N dual exhaust mufflers aren’t called out because they are less restrictive and good for 3-5 HP over that of the base Kona, any more than a large diffuser on the rear bumper does anything other than maybe catch road debris.

Body-colored fenders are a big deal on certain Jeep models, but much less so on the Kona N, other than to visually bring them closer to the ground, something a set of lowering springs would actually do. If the Kona N is expected to join Hyundai’s N division, it’s going to take a lot more than they’ve divulged so far.

[Images: Hyundai Motor America]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 10, 2021

    "and without AWD would not be considered for purchase." You sir is what's wrong with America... (kidding). I do also live in the Northeast though and don't want AWD unless I can turn it off for the 98.9% of the time I wouldn't need it.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 11, 2021

    Thank you for tweaking the video to not follow me down the screen!

  • FreedMike I suppose that in some crowded city like Rome or Tokyo, there's a market for a luxurious pint-size car. I don't think they'll be able to give them away here in the U.S.
  • TMA1 How much did exchange rates affect this decision? The Renegade is imported from Italy. I'm wondering if that's what caused the price to reach within a few hundred of the much bigger Compass. Kind of a no-brainer to pick the larger, more modern vehicle.
  • CEastwood Everytime I see one of these I think there's a dummie who could have bought a real car , but has to say look at me driving this cool thing I can't drive in the rain like an actual motorcycle that I should have bought in the first place ! It's not Batman I see driving these - it's middle age Fatman .
  • SilverCoupe I should be the potential audience for this (current A5 owner, considering an S5 in the future), but I can't say it excites me. I have never liked the vertical bars in the grilles of sporting Mercedes models, for one thing. The interior doesn't speak to me either.I would be more likely to consider a BMW 4 Series, though not the current version with the double Edsel grille. Still, I suppose it would be worth a look when the time comes to replace my current vehicle.
  • Verbal Can we expect this model to help M-B improve on finishing 29th out of 30 brands in CR's recent reliability survey?