Kona N the new Golf GTI killer

December 24, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



The South African motoring industry in 2022 proved once again that Mzansi is undoubtedly bakkie country.

While there was lots of activity in the SUV, hatchback and sedan segments, it was the bakkies that got the most attention.

Bakkie news spanned from Peugeot’s re-entry into the segment by virtue of the Landtrek, the first Jeep bakkie in the form of the Gladiator and the hottest production Toyota Hilux yet to the all-new Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.

ALSO READ: Golf GTI or Hyundai i30 N? It’s a head over heart decision

In fact, five of the 10 most popular motoring topics on The Citizen’s website this year were bakkies. Over the last 10 days of December, The Citizen Motoring looks back at these five along with the rest of the top 10 Motoring Newsmakers of 2022.

Kona N to the fore

Coming in at number eight is the Hyundai Kona N, a performance crossover SUV bearing the Korean carmaker’s N performance badge.

A few years ago the i30 N made its South African debut in the hot hatch segment which is ruled by the VW Golf GTI. It was a decent effort by the Koreans, but it simply lacked the firepower to dethrone the irrepressible GTI.

This year Hyundai took another step into the performance game by bringing a vastly improved i30 N alongside a Kona N to South Africa.

Both are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s sends 206 kW of power and 392 Nm of torque to the front wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Golf GTI killer?

Road Test Editor Mark Jones put the Kona N through its paces and its road test data was nothing short of excellent. The Kona N clocked a time of 5.53 seconds over the 0 to 100 km/h spring compared to the eighth edition Golf GTI’s time of 5.88 seconds.

The Golf GTI did come back hard after that, but the Hyundai did enough to prove it should be taken seriously.

During testing a few months later, the Hyundai i30 N recorded a 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.51 seconds.

The rest of our 2022 Motoring Newsmakers are:

No 10 – New Range Rover rolls in

No 9 – VW Amarok shows face