Hyundai’s performance N sub-brand could add the Kona crossover to its line-up, one which currently comprises the i30 and the Veloster, according to Auto Express.

The B-segment SUV is likely to feature powertrain from the current N duo, namely the 2.0 litre petrol turbo unit which produces 275 PS at 6,000 rpm and 353 Nm of torque from 1,450 to 4,700 rpm in the Veloster N, and in a slightly detuned state of 250 PS in the base i30 N without the Performance Pack. If confirmed, the Kona N could use the latter setup.

Engineers have started work on a Kona N test mule, according to Hyundai N chief Albert Biermann, who indicated the forthcoming performance compact SUV’s powertrain of choice. “I’ve told the engineers to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” he said.

It has to be the i30 N powertrain, really. Of course, we can give Kona different specifications on suspension and steering,” Biermann said, adding that it will be front-wheel drive like the i30 N. Styling revisions to reflect the heightened performance is a given, likely including a rear diffuser, a small roof spoiler and exposed tailpipes instead of the concealed items on the regular Kona.

With the advent of full-blown performance models likely comes the model expansion with N Line models, which will match more modest engine outputs with chassis and styling modifications.

“We’ll bring i30 N Line to market later this year. We have reprofiled quite a lot of it over the conventional car – the steering, the gearshift, the springs, shocks and dampers. It should be a useful new model in the range and help to build the N brand,” said Biermann.

Demand has been strong for the i30 N, Biermann noted. “We’re at over 1,400 back orders in Germany, so supply has been an issue. But the reaction has been very positive. We set ourselves a position on performance and handling and it seems that it is a good balance,” he said.

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo in Singapore