2021 Hyundai Kona N SUV: price, specs and release date

James Allen
August 19, 2020

The new Hyundai Kona N has been spotted ahead of its expected launch next year. Read on for more on Hyundai’s first attempt at a fast and sporty small SUV.

  • Hot SUV expected to have 250hp
  • 275hp Performance model
  • Manual and automatic gearbox
  • Front-wheel drive likely
  • Should go on sale in 2021
  • Likely to cost from £30,000

Hyundai will add to its N range of performance cars with the new Kona N SUV. This fast family car will be an alternative to the likes of the VW T-Roc R and the upcoming Ford Puma ST when it goes on sale in 2021.

The new Kona N will get a bunch of cosmetic upgrades over the standard Kona.

2021 Hyundai Kona N design

Because of all the camouflage on this prototype car, it’s a bit tricky to tell what the new Hyundai Kona N will look like. That said, you can still make out details that differentiate this sporty model from the rest of the Kona range – most obviously the bigger rear spoiler, the red brake callipers and the pair of large exhaust pipes poking out of the rear bumper.

The N model will benefit from a bunch of cosmetic upgrades over the standard Kona. 

It seems the Kona N will have a much more distinctive face, too, thanks to bigger intakes, a more prominent grille and plenty of contrasting red trim. Hyundai is expected to revamp the standard Kona in coming years, and the new Kona N will incorporate elements of these visual upgrades, too.

The standard Kona’s interior, shown here, will get a few sporty upgrades for the new N model. 

2021 Hyundai Kona N interior

If the Hyundai i30N hot hatch is anything to go by, the Hyundai Kona’s cabin won’t be given a massive overhaul for it ‘N’ makeover. Instead, there’ll be a few sporty features to help liven up the interior over the regular car – expect the Kona N to come with supportive faux suede-trimmed bucket seats, ‘N’-branded door sill plates and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The new Kona N will feature the selectable driving modes, just like the i30N. 

The new Hyundai Kona N will feature a driving mode selector that lets you pick your ideal settings for bits like the stability control, the stiffness of the suspension and even the noise from the exhausts.

Expect the new Kona N to produce around 250hp as standard.

2021 Hyundai Kona N engine

Hyundai hasn’t revealed what engine will power the new Kona N. It’ll likely make use of a similar turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the i30N hot hatch. Expect it to produce around 250hp as standard, which would put the Kona N roughly halfway between the upcoming 200hp Ford Puma ST and the 300hp VW T-Roc R and Audi SQ2 in terms of on-paper performance.

As with the i30N, Hyundai may offer the Kona N as a Performance model with 275hp. Gearbox options have yet to be confirmed, though it’s likely the Hyundai Kona N will be available with a six-speed manual as standard, with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic being offered as an option.

Plenty of mechanical upgrades will help make the Kona N more fun to drive. 

2021 Hyundai Kona N driving

The standard Hyundai Kona isn’t exactly the most exciting car to drive, though that should be a bit different for the N version. Firmer suspension, bigger brakes and larger wheels with wider, grippier tyres should see to that.

It’s also likely the Kona N will take a leaf out of the i30 N hot hatchback’s book, and only be available with front-wheel drive, with an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential likely being used to keep wheel spin to a minimum.

Those exhausts are pretty colossal for a small SUV. 

2021 Hyundai Kona N price and release date

Prices for the Hyundai Kona N won’t be revealed until next year, though the sporty SUV should be a few thousand pounds dearer than the higher-spec versions of the standard Kona. Expect the Hyundai Kona N to start around £30,000 when it goes on sale in 2021.

If you can’t wait that long, head over to our VW T-Roc R deals pages to check out the latest deals on one of the best small-but-fast SUVs around.