SPIED: Hyundai Kona N spotted at the Nürburgring – paultan.org

Do you have a burning need for a hot B-segment SUV in your garage? Neither do I, but evidently, there’s enough demand out there that carmakers are not only considering these things but actively building them. Our spy photographers have snagged images of a Hyundai Kona N undergoing testing on the punishing Nürburgring, and if nothing else, it is carrying some tasty performance-enhancing hardware.

Firstly, I should point out that the introduction of the N version will likely coincide with the facelift for the general Kona range. As such, items like the new LED reflector headlights, slimmer and wider grille, and reprofiled tail lights will be found on other Kona models, not just the N.

But the N does have a few unique features of its own, starting with the unique Y-shaped grille mesh and larger centre air intake, both feeding more air to the radiator visible underneath. You can also see some fake mesh peeping out next to the real air inlets that channel air through the corners of the bumper.

Further back, the larger, almost Aston Martin-like alloy wheels hide the much bigger brakes with red brake callipers. You can also spot the pronounced rear spoiler with the signature N triangular brake light, as well as the massive (and real) twin pipes poking out of the diffuser-like rear bumper insert.

This particular mule also sports Recaro bucket seats and a four-point roll cage. As rad as it would be for these items to be offered on the production model, don’t hold your breath. It’s typical for a roll cage, bucket seats, and a harness to be fitted to cars setting timed laps at the Nordschleife, so don’t be surprised if Hyundai provides a lap time as part of the car’s marketing.

The Kona is likely to utilise the same engine and gearbox as the i30 N. That will include a 2.0 litre Theta T-GDI turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 275 PS and 353 Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. The hatch’s six-speed manual would be great, but unlikely.

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