The 2022 Hyundai Kona N performance SUV has had its engine and gearbox details confirmed.
The first high-riding N car will come equipped with the Korean automaker’s T‑GDI turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which is the same unit found in the brilliant i30 N.
Power will be rated at a punchy 206kW, and while Hyundai hasn’t quoted any torque figures for the turbo four-banger used in the SUV yet, the firm has said: “It features a flat power characteristic that provides more torque and power at mid and high-range RPMs.”
The automaker added: “The new higher amount of torque is utilising more of the engine’s potential in everyday driving situations.”
This higher torque will be sent through Hyundai’s own N DCT eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which will be based on its standard in-house 8DCT gearbox.
To make it suitable for the performance SUV, the wet-type dual-clutch has been bolstered greatly by a new dual-pump oil system. This incorporates both a high-flow electric oil pump, which cools the clutch and lubricates the gears, and a high-pressure electric oil pump, which sends oil to the accumulator and holds the pressure required to manage the gear shifting.
According to Hyundai, this new system will allow the DCT to tolerate higher levels of torque for performance-oriented applications and ensure that minimal engine power is lost when shifting gears.
And to put the new gearbox through its paces, the N DCT was tested on the fabled Nürburgring-Nordschleife, completing no less than 1350 laps to guarantee it could withstand the most gruelling performance driving.
The transmission gets three unique shifting calibrations, which have been engineered for different applications:
- N Power Shift (NPS) is activated when more than 90 per cent of throttle is applied, which will engage a ‘push feel’ surge during upshifts. The upshift will be accompanied by Hyundai N’s signature snap, crackle, and pop, thanks to a partial cylinder cut of the exhaust.
- N Grin Shift (NGS) will provide maximum performance from the engine and gearbox for a short 20-second burst.
Drivers will engage the NGS by pressing a unique button on the steering wheel, which will start a countdown displayed on the car’s dash. Once it’s over, operators will have to wait for 40-seconds before they can engage NGS again.
- N Track Sense Shift (NTS) will be optimised for track conditions and will shift automatically for the driver, allowing them to focus more on steering and throttle.
Hyundai has also revealed that the Kona N will feature five separate driving modes – Normal, Eco, Sport, N and Custom.
Shifting of the eight-speed gearbox can be performed manually through either paddle shifters on the steering wheel or the gear knob, and there will be a manual lock-out function that will prevent automatic upshifts at redline.
“The addition of the N DCT allows us to expand on the N brand’s ‘Fun to Drive’ philosophy. By integrating it into the all-new KONA N, we’re enabling all sorts of high-performance driving features and turning the KONA N into a true ‘hot SUV,” Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, vice president of marketing and product at Hyundai Motor Europe, said.
Locally, a prototype of the new Kona N has been spied testing at several locations in Australia in recent weeks, including New South Wales's Wakefield Park Raceway.
A representative for Hyundai Australia has confirmed to WhichCar that the new performance SUV will be in showrooms in the third quarter of 2021.