Korean brand's first performance SUV has been caught testing at the 'Ring, indicating it has likely been greenlit for production.
- shares

Photographers have snapped the first images of a development prototype for the upcoming Hyundai Kona N at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

Here we can see a base Kona body atop what looks like some of the mechanical running gear of the i30 N hot hatch – namely the wheels, brakes and exhaust system poking out from the crossover's skin.

Given some of the Kona's shared components with the likes of the Hyundai i30 and Veloster, it would appear that not a whole lot of work should be required to wedge the i30 N and Veloster N's high-output 202kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine into the engine bay, but the sighting of this prototype does raise some questions.

Being an SUV, you'd think a performance version of the Kona would have all-wheel drive – though we haven't seen a version of the Hyundai N drivetrain that sends power to all four wheels just yet.

Also, we can't see a Kona N being much of a sales success without an automatic transmission option. In saying that, we do know Hyundai is working on a new dual-clutch transmission for its performance models due to hit the market next year.

The rest of the package should echo that of the i30 and Veloster N models. Expect the option of eye-catching Performance Blue exterior paint, a sports body kit, a limited-slip front differential, active exhaust system, bright red exterior and interior highlights, along with lashings of leather and Alcantara in the cabin.

We wouldn't be surprised if the Kona N also received a slight dip in ride height compared to regular models, and get some unique design appointments inside and out to signify its performance potential.

It's no secret that Hyundai has been working on a 'Kona N', with the company's performance boss, Albert Biermann, having confirmed several times recently that his team have been developing on a Kona N prototype – though the spotting of this vehicle indicates it's probably headed for production.

Further details are pretty scarce right now, so stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.

Click the images for the full gallery