• Hyundai Promises More N Performance Models, And I’m Not Sure It’s a Good Thing

Unpopular Opinion: Hyundai Doesn’t Need More N Models – At Least Not The Ones It’s Going To Make Anyway

Let’s face it, Performance vehicles as we know them like the BMW M4, Hyundai Veloster, – and by that, I mean cars with raw internal combustion power – aren’t exactly staring down the barrel of a bright future. By 2030 or 2040 at the latest, there’s a good chance that you’ll only be able to buy electric vehicles and, while they can offer some great performance as we’ve learned from cars like the Porsche Taycan, the basis behind performance vehicles is changing. That’s probably why automakers are offering so many performance vehicles that, well, probably shouldn’t even exist.

The Hyundai Kona N, as cool as it is, is one such model. The world doesn’t need a high-performance Kona, but here we are with one. Other automakers are doing the same thing, and it’s only because we’re willing to snatch them up as quickly as they can produce them simply based on the fact that this is probably our last chance. And that’s probably a big reason as to why Hyundai has just promised a whole bunch of N Performance models….

How Much N Performance Is Too Much?

Hyundai Promises More N Performance Models, And I'm Not Sure It's a Good Thing Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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The Hyundai Kona N has joined the Veloster N in the United States followed by global models like the i30N, i30N Fastback, and the sweet little compact i20N. The Kona N represents Hyundai’s first performance SUV, but this is, apparently just the tip of the iceberg.

Hyundia’s Executive VP and Head of Customer Experience, Thomas Schemera, has spilled the beans on the future of Hyundai’s N portfolio, and let’s just say that the company isn’t holding back one bit.

Hyundai Promises More N Performance Models, And I'm Not Sure It's a Good Thing Exterior
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”We are thrilled to share the mindset, spirit and vision of the N brand to be a leader in the high-performance category powered by traditional internal combustion engines as well as our proven industry-leading battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicle technologies. Our continuously growing and more balanced N portfolio will open new high-performance options, delivering the 'grin factor' no matter what the propulsion technology or body type may be.”
Hyundai Promises More N Performance Models, And I'm Not Sure It's a Good Thing Exterior
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In other words, Hyundai is planning to slap an N Performance badge on just about everything it makes. This can be good in some regard, but at the same time, it’s also going to dilute the N Performance brand. The world doesn’t need a Hyundai Kona N, and while that might be a big reason why it’s so appealing, the Kona wasn’t designed to be a performance vehicle in any way shape or form. These comments open the door to other outrageous performance models too. Next up, we’ll probably see a Hyundai Tucson N followed by a Hyundai Santa Fe N, and hell, while we’re at it, why not a Hyundai Santa Cruz N pickup for good measure. Don’t forget about the EVs, either. Eventually, the Ioniq 5 will also be offered as an N model too.

2022 Hyundai Kona N specifications
Engine 2.0-litre T-GDI w/ flat power
Transmission 8-speed wet-type DCT (N DCT)
Curb weight (kg) 1,515 (North America)
Power 276 HP
Torque 289 LB-FT
Top speed 149 mph
0 to 60 mph 5.5 seconds

Final Thoughts

Hyundai Promises More N Performance Models, And I'm Not Sure It's a Good Thing Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for Hyundai to set out on a journey of exceeding its original reach, and I welcome a few good performance models. The i30 N and the Veloster N are amazing machines for what they are, and especially for the price. But aiming to slap an N Performance badge an every segment you’re a part of is just diluting what it means to have a performance vehicles. Kudos to Hyundai for capitalizing on our drive and desire to buy up performance vehicles while we still can, but at some point, it’s going to be a little too much.

And, with that, I’ll leave you with a few words of wisdom: Hyundai N-Line is for people who want to look fast but aren’t while Hyundai N is for people who want to go fast when they shouldn’t. Now, go ahead and call me a hater in the comments. It’s okay, I don’t mind :)

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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