I enjoy a great very hot hatch.
I drove a Volkswagen Golf GTI warm hatch a pair of months ago and liked it. However, Americans are not particularly intrigued in hatchbacks anymore.
Positive, there are a handful that are well-liked, like the Mazda3 or…okay, that is the only one I can think of. Even the venerable Volkswagen Golfing only exists in GTI or R spec now the regular Golf isn’t even bought in The usa any longer.
And the hot hatch is likely extinct as well. The outstanding Ford Concentration RS is no more, and the Mazdaspeed 3 is long gone also. All that’s left is the GTI and the Hyundai Veloster N. And that Veloster N sells in meager quantities.
We People don’t want hatchbacks, no make a difference how a lot the car journalist in me may possibly want them to. Alternatively, it is all SUVs and crossovers. And it will make perception, appropriate?
Crossovers have a better seating placement and a taller roof, and, theoretically, they can haul more stuff. Irrespective of whether that is accurate or not is up for debate, but they stay really well-liked. And so, what is a incredibly hot hatch enthusiast meant to invest in now? Properly, they could obtain a person of the remaining warm hatches…but Hyundai has a surprise for them.
It’s the Kona N, And it is probably the most surprising car of the 12 months. Hyundai invited me to wine state to check travel the new Kona N and its sibling, the Elantra N, at Sonoma raceway. N is the Hyundai equal of Mercedes AMG or BMWs M division.
And N automobiles are much additional than mere cosmetic variations. The Elantra N and Kona N both of those saw major updates to the engine, brakes, suspension, exhaust, seats, and of training course, some awesome beauty tweaks. What is the position of owning a jumped-up model of a regular automobile if no just one is familiar with about it?
Driving the Elantra N on the monitor was essentially what I envisioned. It was quick, taken care of nicely, and was wildly exciting and thrilling.
If you want a motor vehicle that you can travel to work each day and then just take to the keep track of on weekends — and do not want to commit the revenue on a BMW or Porsche — the Elantra N is a terrific choice.
And here’s a magic formula: it’s just as pleasurable as individuals more rapidly European monsters.
It’s usually more enjoyment to travel a sluggish car or truck quick than a rapidly vehicle gradual. And even a newbie racing driver will have a ball getting the Elantra N to the restrict. On the other hand, the Elantra is a sedan, and, as we know, Individuals don’t like sedans. Which is why Hyundai is happy to promote you a Kona N crossover alternatively.
It has a lot of of the same parts as its sedan sibling but is wrapped in a practical crossover exterior. And yes, ahead of you inquire, the dealing with is substantially compromised compared to the Elantra N.
Continue to, it doesn’t issue mainly because the Kona N is so shocking and hysterical that any worries you have are immediately washed absent in a cloud of tire smoke and exhaust sound. And what a sound it is.
Hyundai worked tough to make the 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder motor seem excellent, and it worked gloriously. The exhaust is comprehensive of pops, bangs, and crackles and might be the best sounding 4-cylinder engine you can invest in these days.
I simply cannot determine if the most surprising point about the Kona N is its efficiency, or simply the point that it exists. I reviewed the Kona earlier and found it to be an outstanding compact crossover. But I hardly ever imagined that Hyundai would put a turbocharged engine making 276 horsepower and 289 torque under the hood. The result is fantastic.
I imagined very long and tough about how to demonstrate what driving the Kona N on a race keep track of is like. This is the most effective analogy I can occur up with: it’s like driving an angry sheep. It simply cannot really set its electric power down at comprehensive throttle, and less than major braking, to get in touch with it squirrely would be kind. But boy, is it an thrilling trip.
The Kona N is inherently compromised by the platform it rides on. It has a better ride peak than the Elantra, and to their credit score, Hyundai decided to maintain it at the similar height as the normal Kona. That suggests that even with the sporting updates, it can however generate down a leaf-strewn lane or as a result of some snow if that’s what you require it to do.
The essence of any hot hatch is to keep on being eminently realistic when remaining strong, sporty, and exciting, and the Kona N is the great embodiment of this. On the inside, it’s a regular Kona crossover, albeit with some attractive sporty seats.
Which is my favored part about it. It is not specially loud or shouty except you place it in activity method and convert the exhaust sound up. You could simply drive it every working day and then just take it out on the weekends to your favourite curvy back street or even an actual race observe and have a excellent time. All the whilst, you can acquire the children to college or make a grocery run with ease.
Just about the only issue I can knock it for — and this is unavoidable — is the extremely rigid suspension. The Elantra N has a firm, monitor-completely ready suspension, but it can be altered to be a thing close to comfortable.
The Kona N’s softest choice is still noticeably firmer than the Elantra’s firmest, and then it will get even worse from there. But it’s a athletics car or truck wrapped in a crossover match. What do you hope?
As long as you really don’t hope Rolls-Royce concentrations of comfort and ease or much convenience at all on particularly rough roads, you are going to love the Kona N. And have confidence in me, the joys of driving an indignant sheep considerably outweigh the draw back.
All of Hyundai’s N autos are actual sports activities automobiles. They get the N badge really significantly, and for that cause, the Kona N must likely not exist. Who usually takes an normal crossover and turns it into a athletics auto? I don’t even know what other motor vehicles this competes with.
But I hope it is productive. I would appreciate for Hyundai to sell a ton of them and for other models to build sporty versions of their crossovers also. Is a Honda CRV R or a Ford Escape RS much too a lot to hope for? Most likely. But we do have the Kona N, and that’s one thing we can all be thankful for.
One particular Cool Depth: N Grin Shift
The NGS button on the steering wheel downshifts and activates an overboost function for 20 seconds. It boosts horsepower from 276 to 286 and does, in reality, deliver a grin to your facial area.
Just about every automobile ought to have this button.
Hyundai covered the journey and lodging to assessment these cars and trucks on area, as is widespread follow in the automobile industry. Automakers or their affiliates have no oversight when it arrives to Inverse editorial content, which remains wholly independent and from the mind of our exceptionally opinionated auto analyst and critic, Jordan Golson.