The head of Hyundai's high-performance N division has revealed that plans are in place to build a small high-performance SUV using the i30 N hot hatch’s engine and transmission.

Albert Biermann told Auto Express that he had already instructed his team to start developing a Hyundai Kona N test mule.

“I’ve told them to build the car and we’ll see what happens with getting it approved,” Biermann said, according to the British publication.

“It has to be the i30 N powertrain, really. Of course, we can give Kona different specifications on suspension and steering, although there are some common components we can use in that area as well, because it’ll be front-wheel drive, like the i30 N. But we already know that it has to be that car’s engine and gearbox for the Kona N.”

The i30 N is powered by a turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 184 kW and 353 N.m in the case of the standard model, and 202 kW and an unchanged peak torque figure in the case of the Performance Package flagship. According to Auto Express, the Kona N is likely to inherit the less powerful of the two.

Of course, the standard Kona is currently not offered in South Africa, although the local arm of the Korean automaker told CARmag.co.za in 2017 that it had not ruled out bringing the small SUV to SA at a later date, hinting that it could appeal to a slightly different audience than that of the Indian-built Creta.