Caleb Cook
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2022 Hyundai Kona N Promises High-Powered Driving Bliss

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Shadowy front side view of Hyundai Kona N
Photo: Hyundai

As Hyundai’s inaugural high-performance SUV, the 2022 Kona N (not to be confused with the Kona N Line) will come equipped with an array of enthusiast-pleasing features. These include an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, three sporty shift settings, and a powerful turbo engine.

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During the development process for the Kona N, Hyundai put it through a series of comprehensive tests at the storied Nurburgring track in Germany. As a result, these performance features possess the durability to withstand tough conditions and repeated hard driving.

Kona N dual-clutch transmission

With its paddle shifters, gear knob controls, and special tuning, the Kona N’s dual-clutch transmission is designed to deliver the feel of driving with a manual transmission. To improve performance, the DCT lubricated and pressurized by a pair of electric oil pumps. These pumps prevent engine power loss, boost efficiency, allow faster acceleration, and increase torque. They also prevent the clutch from overheating while the vehicle is being pushed to its limits.

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Diagram of Hyundai Kona N dual clutch transmission
The Hyundai Kona N will carry an optimized eight-speed dual-clutch transmission
Image: Hyundai

Kona N shift settings

With three unique DCT shift settings, the Kona N should provide plenty of fun behind the wheel. N Power Shift kicks in during intense acceleration to reduce torque loss, deliver a forward surge during upshifts, and contribute an adrenaline-enhancing exhaust crackle. N Grin Shift gives drivers maximum engine and transmission performance for a 20-second period, automatically shifting to the best gear for all-out acceleration. N Track Sense Shift takes over shift timing on the racetrack so drivers can concentrate on steering.

Along with these high-performance settings, the Kona N also provides five regular drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N, and Custom.

Kona N engine

Under the hood, the Kona N carries a muscular 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine that puts out an estimated 276 horsepower. This engine delivers more torque and power when RPMs are in their middle or high range. The goal with this is to maximize acceleration and overall performance during normal driving. That way, there’s no need to take the Kona N to a track to enjoy what it has to offer.

Hyundai hasn’t given a specific arrival date for the Kona N yet, but it’s expected to show up at dealerships by the end of 2021.