Hyundai’s pumped-up Kona N SUV is almost ready to hit showrooms.

    New spy photos show what looks to be a production-ready exterior, although the car’s cabin is still home to a set of non-production bucket seats.

    The Kona N packs a tall, aggressive diffuser at the rear, and packs two drainpipe-sized exhaust pipes delivering (what we can only assume is) the same cracking, popping, angry sound we love from the i30 N.

    Hyundai has extended the roof spoiler from the regular Kona, and the rear bumper has been pumped right up.

    The wheels on this tester are unique compared to the i30 N, and suggest this is a high-spec N Performance model.

    Although the i30 N is only offered with all the performance trimmings in Australia, a slightly pared-back base N model is available overseas. Expect to see a similar approach taken with the Kona.

    Up front, the Kona N features a low-set air intake and more aggressive front bumper than the regular range. The grille packs wide-open mesh like the i30 N, and the badge covered on the right-hand side of the top grille is more than likely a prominent N motif.

    Under the bonnet, the Kona N is likely to be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the i30 N, mated with a choice of six-speed manual or Hyundai’s new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

    In the i30 N the engine currently pumps out 202kW of power and up to 378Nm of torque on overboost. Unlike the i30 N hatch and fastback, the Kona N is expected to be all-wheel drive.

    Hyundai is preparing to rapidly expand its N Performance line-up. The i30 N hatchback will be given a facelift, and will be joined by a version of the new i30 Sedan (above).

    The Kona will be the first all-out performance Hyundai SUV, but it’s expected to be followed by a version of the larger Tucson when the new model arrives next year.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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