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Hyundai has taken the wraps off the upcoming Hyundai Kona N, the high-performance version of its B-segment SUV. The Korean carmaker teased the Kona N in January, but this is our first look at the car without camouflage disguise. The Kona N will be the N performance sub-brand’s first SUV model.

The Kona’s midlife facelift that surfaced in September 2020 included for the first time a sporty N Line trim option. With a completely different face from the regular Kona, the N Line already looks rather aggressive, and the full N model here raises the bar, slightly.

These dark first images reveal a large grille with an N logo and a different grille insert design. Three air intake slots sit above the grille, and flanking it are LED headlamps connected to “side intakes”. The Kona’s trademark LED “eyebrow” DRLs are present.

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Hyundai says that the lower grille’s shape is inspired by an aeronautic fuselage and extends to the side of the car, emphasising aerodynamic efficiency and speed. Comparing the N with the N Line, everything appears to be identical except for the inserts in both upper and lower grilles (lower honeycomb is full width) and a red lip that extends to the side skirts.

The differences are more striking at the rear, where the N wears a large double-wing roof spoiler for enhanced downforce. The big wing also incorporates a third triangular brake light, an N trademark as seen on the Veloster N and i30 N. The big diffuser is already on the N Line, but it incorporates a two big pipes here, one on each end, and a red stripe.

Like the N Line, body-coloured fenders replace the standard car’s SUV-style black plastic. This brings the Kona visually closer to the ground, Hyundai says. Lastly, the Kona N wears N-exclusive big fan-spoke wheels.

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The Kona N will be powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, which was added last year to the N models that were originally manual-only. In the i30 N facelift, the N-spec 2.0T makes 250 PS/353 Nm in standard form and 280 PS/392 Nm with the Performance Package.

The in-house developed eight-speed N DCT should also carry the N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift modes. Hyundai has also confirmed the availability of Launch Control, plus an “emotive soundtrack” for the Kona N. See more of the facelifted Kona and Kona N Line here.

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona facelift N Line