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.
Gallery: Hyundai Kona N new spy photos
Kind gestures aside, there's plenty of footage showing the amped-up Kona tackling various corners at the Green Hell, its tyres 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 tyres 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-litre engine from the hot Veloster, and in the Kona, it should be connected to all-wheel drive. That would be 250 or possibly 275 bhp 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.