By on April 28, 2021

Kona N

Hyundai rolled out the 2022 Kona N yesterday at its N Day, a digital showcase for the N brand. The latest N brand inclusion, Hyundai’s N and N Line will grow to 18 models through 2022. Hyundai expresses its ambition for the brand with the tagline ‘Never just drive’.

Kona N

The Kona N has a 2.0 liter, turbocharged GDI engine, and 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (N DCT). The N DCT is claimed to be a more durable version of Hyundai’s 8DCT. Faster shifting and unique gear ratios are what’s inside. N Grin Shift (NGS), N Power Shift (NPS), and N Track Sense Shift (NTS) are its transmission-shift modes.

Kona N

Two-hundred and seventy-six horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque are on tap with N Grin Shift, and the N’s max goes to 286 hp. The Kona N maxes out at 149 mph and will go 0-62 mph (100 kilometers for the metrically-minded) in 5.5 seconds with launch control activated. Its curb weight is 3,340 pounds.

Kona N

N’s corner-carving differential is the electronic limited-slip diff (E-LSD) that controls torque distribution. Kona N runs 19-inch forged wheels with performance brakes and tires. N Grin, launch control, and the variable exhaust system are standard on base-level Kona Ns. N Grin has Eco, Normal, Sport, N, and Custom driving modes. These modes adjust engine operating parameters, electronic stability control (ESC), exhaust sound, and steering.

Kona N

Inside the Kona N, there’s a 10-inch Nfotainment system with a heads-up display (HUD) for the gamer in you. The infotainment system is not yet N-designated. The N mode design adds digitized elements, lap times, and N track maps to help you if you actually take the Kona N to the raceway.

Kona N

There are also widgets to max out your fun and entertainment, at least to the degree you can enjoy yourself while behind the wheel. There are also N-brand color accents, seats, steering wheel, shift knob, and pedals.

Kona N

Body-colored fenders and the N-specific wheels elevate the Kona N’s appearance. A new N exclusive color, sonic blue, contrasts the N red accent color. An N front lip, double-wing spoiler, and side skirts are styling accents that double as performance enhancements.

Kona N

Take the front bumper’s shape, said to provide hot lap engine cooling. Or the roof spoiler, which enhances downforce no doubt for added traction.

Kona N

An update from Hyundai said the Kona N will be available in the 4th quarter. What we didn’t get was the price it will sell for when it does hit showrooms. Given how information has come from the automaker in dribs and drabs, it figures. Maybe there’ll be yet another post, or will we move on to something else that’s new and shiny?

[Images: Hyundai]

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23 Comments on “2022 Hyundai Kona N Unwrapped...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That looks like a hot little firecracker of a crossover. The regular Kona with the 1.6T and DCT already drives well, so I bet this will be thrilling.

    I think Hyundai is doing a spectacular job with its N and N-Line cars.

  • avatar


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Sounds pretty nice. I love the understated appearance – no boy-racer stuff here.

  • avatar

    Is there really a market for this? Who goes to buy a Kona and says “man I wish there was track tuned version of this”.

    Can we get a Santa Cruz N to compete with the Raptor?

    Don’t get me wrong… I love what Hyundai is doing here but it doesn’t seem to align with their buyers who (I assume) just want simple, affordable transportation with some style. Sonata N and Veloster N sound reasonable, this not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      Anecdotally, I agree. None of the Kona owners or intenders in my life would be interested in a “track” version.
      They’d probably be cool with 50 more hp over the 1.6T, but pulling the interior out of the Palisade Calligraphy would much better move the needle.

      However I also think Hyundai is hoping to expand the pie of Kona owners rather than just get current ones to upgrade. I also expect the Veloster will be gone within 2 years so this will be your only sport-hatch option after that.

    • 0 avatar

      I was a thinking the same thing. I already struggle to make sense of a $33k Veloster N, so I have no idea what the point of this Kona N is – other than to sell to a young guy who has already made a bad decision or 2 who can’t fit the rug rats and his baby momma into the Veloster anymore.

      I guess if you compare it to a WRX or Civic Si sedan as far as zoom zoom young family haulers, maybe it makes some sort of sense.

      • 0 avatar

        “Other than to sell to a young guy who has already made a bad decision or 2 who can’t fit the rug rats and his baby momma into the Veloster anymore.”

        So it looks like they’ve got Nissan square in their crosshairs!

      • 0 avatar

        How is that different from buying any hot hatch?

        (The Kona-N is really just a slightly lifted hot hatch).

        Or spending $84k on an M2 CS?

    • 0 avatar

      If this had been available 2-3 years ago, I could probably have easily talked my wife into one instead of a GTI. She just wanted something more zippy and compact than the minivan around town, since they keep squeezing the lanes to widen the bike lanes.. This is similar enough + probably more cargo capacity (without folding the seats) than the GTI, and probably at least as reliable as the GTI. And I could “borrow” it as a track toy.

      • 0 avatar

        “She just wanted something more zippy and compact than the minivan around town”

        This is a lot of kit for that desire. A Kona N-Line would probably fit that bill better.

  • avatar

    If Hyundai can give the Kona N a limited slip diff, then why not the Sonata N? Owners should be able to use all that luscious power without wasting it shredding tires around corners and at stoplights.

    • 0 avatar

      There is no Sonata N. The Sonata N-Line isn’t supposed to be as hardcore a product as these full-on Ns, but I agree it was definitely a mistake not to offer an LSD, or probably even better for the market the car’s in, have AWD.

  • avatar

    No manual in enthusiast car… bleh

  • avatar

    There’s a reason there’s not one shot of the back above. The Kona is so ugly from the back, it makes my eyes bleed.

  • avatar

    N means No. In sense that I do not need sporty SUV. Especially with crappy DCT and dubious Hyudai/Kia/Daewoo quality.

  • avatar

    Tall guy observation: HUDs are a god send, should be an option for all cars.

    Depending on make/model, the combination of steering wheel angle, sun cowl, and seating position means my eyes have either have an obstructed view, or long travel distance between the road, and down into the gauge cluster.

    Having a little hud pip clear of the dash makes life so much easier.

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