Hyundai Kona N mixes a little hot hatch with an SUV

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing major automakers to reveal vehicles that would normally debut at major auto shows virtually. Hyundai is the latest automaker to reveal an important new vehicle for its lineup via a digital event with the official reveal of the all-new Kona N. The automaker describes the Kona N as the first "True Hot SUV."Hyundai says the SUV has racetrack capability while offering the versatility of an SUV. Kona N is the first edition to the growing line of N performance vehicles from Hyundai to be offered in an SUV body style. The automaker promises a combination of versatility, spirited acceleration, agility, and racetrack readiness for buyers. Power for the SUV comes from a turbo 2.0-liter GDI engine paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai says to make the transmission suitable for N models, the 8DCT was upgraded to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles using unique gear ratios, among other tricks. The transmission also offers a range of N exclusive driving features, including N Grin Shift, N Power Shift, and N Track Sense Shift.

The turbocharged engine used in the Kona N produces 280PS in normal mode, and in N Grin Shift, power is enhanced to 290 PS. The SUV can reach 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds when using Launch Control. It also has a top speed of 240 km/h. Hyundai notes that even the base Kona N comes with Launch Control, Variable Exhaust System, and the N Grin Control System.

N Grin features five drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, N, and Custom. Those drive modes change the vehicle's character by adjusting the parameters of the engine, electronic stability control, exhaust sound, and steering. Pricing and exact availability are unannounced at this time.