Yes, we know the Hyundai Kona is really a small crossover. It still has a rear hatch, however, so we'll reserve the right to call this N model a hot hatchback. We've seen prototypes several times over the last year or so, and now we have a fresh video of camouflaged Konas turning laps at the Nürburgring.
We'll say this much about Hyundai test drivers – they are a friendly bunch. Not only does the camera get a friendly wave early in the clip, the driver even offers a toot of the horn later on. This shouldn't imply the Kona N is boring on the track; both moments take place just off of pit road for the Nordschleife, where vehicles begin their run during automaker industry pool testing sessions at the track.
Kind gestures aside, there's plenty of footage showing the amped-up Kona tackling various corners at the Green Hell, its tires loudly protesting. These moments definitely require more driver attention, especially since the Kona N doesn't look as buttoned-down as other N-branded machines like the Elantra N we recently saw on the track. The squealing likely comes from less-aggressive all-season tires as opposed to something more sport-oriented, but then again, Kona N buyers probably aren't interested in shaving seconds off of lap times.
For that, buyers will likely choose the Veloster N and its lower ride height. Power-wise, however, the Kona N is expected to have the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine from the hot Veloster, and in the Kona, it should be connected to all-wheel drive. That would be 250 or possibly 275 horsepower underfoot, and while the Kona is a bit more wayward in its motions, it just might be a really cool rally racer.
We're very keen to find out, but we likely have a bit of a wait still ahead of us. We originally thought the Kona N would debut by the end of the year, but it looks like that will happen next year as a 2022 model. Here's hoping it's worth the wait.