×

We've got news for you.

Register on BusinessLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now
The Kona N boasts a ready-to-race look with its N body kit. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Kona N boasts a ready-to-race look with its N body kit. Picture: SUPPLIED

Hyundai SA this week launched two vehicles that should get high-performance enthusiasts salivating: the new Kona N crossover and the updated i30 N hot hatchback.

The i30 N has been on the market since February 2020 as a challenger to the VW Golf GTI, while the Kona becomes the second car from the Korean firm’s high-performance division to be offered in SA.

Hyundai i30N

Two years after its debut, the hatchback is given a midlife tweak with boosted power and a facelift.

Thanks to a larger turbochargers and intercooler, the 2.0l four-cylinder petrol engine gets more hustle, with power and torque outputs rising from 202kW and 353Nm to 206kW and 392Nm. The upgraded engine has a flatter torque curve with more grunt available at lower rpm.

The updated i30 N (right) adopts a bolder look with a larger grille and redesigned LED headlights. Picture: SUPPLIED
The updated i30 N (right) adopts a bolder look with a larger grille and redesigned LED headlights. Picture: SUPPLIED

Power is through the front wheels as before, with the aid of a grip-enhancing limited slip differential, but the six-speed manual has been replaced by an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with rev matching for fast and smooth downshifts.

The auto gearbox and extra muscle make for a significant improvement in the 0-100km/h sprint time, which is reduced from 6.1 seconds to 5.4 seconds using the vehicle’s launch control system. Top speed remains 250km/h.

As before, the i30 N has drive modes selectable from the steering wheel that progressively dial up the madness. A button on the left allows the driver to change between Eco, Normal and Sport, and the right button selects between N mode or N Custom mode.

This gearbox offers three new N performance modes, N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift, and drivers can also change gears themselves using steering-mounted paddles.

An active variable exhaust system pumps up the volume in N mode for a crackling “afterburn” growl akin to a rally car.

Electronic controlled suspension can be stiffened at the push of a button to optimise the i30 N’s handling in mountain passes or racetracks. Along with high-performance brakes, the i30 N wears specially developed 19” Pirelli P-Zero tyres on black rims.

The previously understated styling has been revved up with a larger grille, redesigned LED headlights, new LED taillights, and larger dual exhausts. It is slightly lower and longer, though the wheelbase remains the same.

A specification upgrade sees the i30N’s infotainment screen growing from 8-inches to 10.25 inches, and it also gains driver-assist features like lane-keeping assist, blind spot assist, and forward collision avoidance.

Hyundai Kona N

The Kona has been on the market since 2018 in less powerful guises, and becomes the first N model with an SUV body type. The Kona N boasts a ready-to-race look with its N body kit comprising side skirts and large front air intakes. The lower grille is inspired by an aeronautic fuselage and extends to the side of the car, while the rear features a large double-wing roof spoiler, prominent twin exhausts and a large diffuser.

The Kona N comes highly specced with electric front seats, wireless phone charging and a head up display. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Kona N comes highly specced with electric front seats, wireless phone charging and a head up display. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mechanically the Kona N is the same as the i30N, though its 0-100km/h sprint is one-tenth slower because it is 55kg heavier. Top speed is also reduced to 240km/h.

It offers the same mild-to-wild driving modes and sporty chassis. Both cars have a Performance Driving Data System which displays power, torque, laptimes, and turbo pressure on the touchscreen.

Like the i30N, the Kona N comes highly specced with features like electrically adjustable front seats with heating, automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, wireless phone charging, sunroof, and a digital instrument panel.

The Kona has a head-up display which is absent in the hatchback, and leather seats with blue trim compared to the i30 N’s leather and suede.

PRICES

Hyundai i30 2.0 N DCT — R749,900

Hyundai Kona 2.0 N DCT — R749,900

Prices include a seven-year/200,000km warranty, seven-year/150,000km roadside assistance and a five-year/75,000km service plan

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.