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Hyundai’s N performance division is aggressively expanding its lineup, which may soon include the brand’s first-ever sports crossover, the Kona N. In fact, a prototype of such a model is already in development, despite the lack of a production green light.

The information has been revealed in a recent interview to AutoExpress by Albret Biermann, who is the director of the N division. He has confirmed to the publication engineers of the performance department are already working on a test mule of the vehicle.

“I’ve told them to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” Biermann told AutoExpress. “It has to be the i30 N powertrain, really. Of course, we can give Kona different specifications on suspension and steering, although there are some common components we can use in that area as well, because it’ll be front-wheel drive, like the i30 N. But we already know that it has to be that car’s engine and gearbox for the Kona N, yes.”

Biermann is referring to the Kona N’s powertrain, which is apparently going to be shared with the production i30 N. Under the hood of the Korean hot hatch is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 275 horsepower (205 kilowatts) and 260 pound-feet (352 Newton-meters), mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Soon, a dual-clutch automatic will be offered, too.

2018 Hyundai Kona
2018 Hyundai Kona

In the Kona N, if approved for production, the engine will be slightly detuned to deliver somewhere in the region of 250 hp (186 kW), our source claims. This would still give the performance crossover a significant power advantage over the current range-topper with 175 hp (130 kW).

Before making the final decision for the future of the Kona N, Hyundai N will launch its second and third models – the Veloster N and the upcoming i30 N Fastback. The sports coupe is planned to be released only on the U.S. and South Korean markets with no European version in the cards.

Note: Hyundai Kona Electric test prototype pictured at the top.

Source: AutoExpress

Gallery: 2018 Hyundai Kona: First Drive Review

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