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The Hyundai KONA N is a strong little SUV

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The automaker has uncovered a KONA N version of the subcompact utility vehicle, and as the all-caps name proposes, it plans to be a baby barbarian.

It’s Hyundai’s first high-performance SUV, and it says it has the soul of a classic hot hatchback caught within its high-riding practical body.

The KONA N is fueled by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 276 hp in European spec and that it can lift to 286 hp in short bursts.

The power goes to the front wheels just through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, so it is anything but an off-roader, except if you consider race tracks as off-road.

Hyundai tuned the handling on Germany’s famed Nurburgring and is advancing it as a genuine track day vehicle that incorporates a head-up display outfitted with a lap timer and circuit map that, in a twist, delivers a “gaming experience” in the real world.

The KONA N includes deep sport seats, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tires. It can speed up to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and hit a maximum speed of 149 mph, as indicated by Hyundai.

Pricing and final market details have not been reported, yet the KONA N goes on sale in the U.S. this fall.

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