• Instagram Proves That the Hyundai Kona Can Be Cool

Hyundai’s little crossover can flex its muscles, too

LISTEN 03:51

The Hyundai Kona isn’t the first car that comes to mind when the word “cool” is uttered. It might not even be the 10th or 100th car that we think of. But such is the power of the aftermarket tuning scene that regular cars like the Kona can look cool when provided with the right amount of aftermarket help. We see a good example of that with this particular Kona, which we spotted from the Instagram page of WABBP_Exhaust, a Korean based tuner that specializes in aftermarket exhaust systems. The Kona looks particularly aggressive in the photos posted by the company, and if you stick around long enough to watch the accompanying videos, you’ll be able to hear what a WABBP_Exhaust can do to the crossover’s otherwise pedestrian 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Truth be told, this isn’t the coolest Hyundai Kona I’ve ever seen. The Kona Iron Man Edition is infinitely cooler than this one. It has a cooler paintwork — red and black is quintessential Iron Man, though a splash of gold would’ve been nice, too — and the roof has a massive Iron man helmet decal. My emotional attachment to the Kona Iron Man Edition reached new levels after watching Avengers: Endgame and while I will not post any spoilers, I’m pretty sure that most of you have seen the blockbuster movie, too.

Unfortunately, as cool as the Iron Man Edition is, it lacks one important equipment that WABBP’s Hyundai Kona has: a deliriously exciting aftermarket exhaust system.

This is where the tuner’s Kona takes center stage. It’s not clear which tuner is responsible for the crossover’s new look, but it’s safe to assume that some worked on turning it into a more aggressive-looking crossover. We get a good glimpse of all the extra cladding the crossover’s wearing throughout its body. The image showing the front section of the Kona even shows a pair of small LED fog lamps just below the front grille. Black decals also adorn the body, creating a more muscular two-tone appearance that gives the Kona a meaner aesthetic profile. You’ll also see a roof rack on top, a new set of what looks 18-inch Michelin tires, and more fancy decals in the rear section.

As striking as the Kona looks with all the fancy decals and new LED lights, the real highlight of this project sits underneath the rear section of the crossover. That’s where you’ll find WABBP’s personalized exhaust system. There’s a bit of Google Translate magic going on here, but if I’m not mistaken, the specific exhaust is called the Sus304 stainless steel exhaust. I’m particularly fond of the chameleon-like exhaust tips, which are pretty easy to notice themselves.

Of course, looking at the Kona’s new exhaust and exhaust tips don’t do justice to their actual functions. You’re going to have to watch the videos, and you’ll be happy that you did. It’s hard to imagine a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine emitting that kind of throaty roar, but that’s what the new exhaust system is for. It’s not known if there are any power and performance upgrades made to the crossover’s engine, but really, who cares if the Kona only produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque if it sounds like a caged beast that’s waiting to be unleashed.

I wouldn’t mind driving this Kona, even if it can only sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds. It can still hit a top speed of 130 mph, and if it can do that and wake up the neighbors in the process, that’s a sight and sound that I wouldn’t mind seeing and hearing. Better yet, I wouldn’t mind sitting behind the wheel of this Kona, either.


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Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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