Hyundai has revealed the Kona N, the first SUV to join the firm’s range of performance models.

It follows a similar ethos to the i30 N hot hatchback by bringing aggressive styling and motorsport-inspired technology that should deliver a thrilling driving experience.

Photo: Supplied

Under the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which has been beefed up for better durability and received unique ratios to deliver sharper acceleration.

The powertrain makes 276bhp and contributes to a top speed of 149mph and 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds – even in its base trim, the Kona N gets launch control, too.

To make the most of the power, the SUV gets an electronic limited-slip differential that controls the torque delivery to the front wheels to maximise grip in corners and when accelerating. This is further helped through lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels and grippy tyres.

The exterior styling has also been given an overhaul to match the car’s sporty ambitions, such as the new wheels, front lip spoiler, double-wing roof spoiler and side skirts. It has also been launched in a new Sonic Blue paint job that’s similar to the traditional Performance Blue used on Hyundai’s N models.

Photo: Supplied

There are minor updates inside, such as blue colour accents, sports seats and steering wheel, shift knob and metal pedals.

Photo: Supplied

Speaking of the new model, Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s head of research and development, said: “Kona N is a true hot SUV with the performance level of a hot hatch. It breaks the rule that SUVs are less fun to drive. As an N model, it goes beyond the limits of an ordinary SUV. Kona N can carve corners on the racetrack and bring excitement to everyday driving.”