Hyundai Motor has revealed new details of the all-new KONA N.The company’s first high-performance SUV will be available with an eight-speed wet-type Dual-Clutch Transmission, known as N DCT, providing high-performance features for even more fun-to-drive.
N DCT provides the engaging experience of a sequential gearbox with the convenience of an automatic transmission.
“The addition of the N DCT allows us to expand on the N brand’s ‘Fun to Drive’ philosophy,” says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President of Marketing & Product at Hyundai Motor Europe. “By integrating it into the all-new KONA N, we’re enabling all sorts of high-performance driving features and turning the KONA N into a true ‘hot SUV.’”
N DCT: Specially developed for high-performance driving
N DCT is the enhanced version of the company’s in-house developed 8DCT, an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission. To make it suitable for N models, the 8DCT received improvements in durability, allowing it to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles. With the 2.0-litre T-GDI engine, it gives the best performance by applying unique gear ratios. The transmission control unit is calibrated for N, resulting in faster shifting and enabling a range of exclusive driving features.
Hyundai’s N DCT technology was first offered in the VELOSTER N, a model available in North America and Korea, and came to the new i30 N as a result of the valuable feedback of the Hyundai N community. In the case of the all-new KONA N, Hyundai has specified all units with N DCT.
Wet-type transmission for better cooling during racetrack driving
The wet-type DCT is structurally similar to a manual transmission, making it similarly efficient at power delivery and shifting response. As opposed to a dry-type gearbox, the wet-type DCT uses two electrical oil pumps to reduce the amount of friction between the moving parts and for a better cooling of the clutch, thus allowing a higher amount of torque to transfer through the gearbox.
The electric pump system is composed of the High Flow Electric Oil Pump, which is responsible for gear lubrication and clutch cooling, and the High Pressure Electric Oil Pump, which supplies oil to the accumulator and maintains the pressure needed to control the gear shifting. Together, they ensure that the wet DCT can function with minimum engine power loss, thus resulting in better fuel economy as a welcome side effect. This new, updated pump system increases the number of applications for the wet N DCT, making it optimal for high-torque applications. The benefits are twofold: This system results in improved performance by increasing the maximum torque allowance, and the vehicle is more fun to drive due to increased power transmission efficiency and acceleration performance.
In addition to its increased performance, the application of N DCT also improves driving dynamics. The coolant oil consistently keeps the clutch at the optimum operating temperature, preventing overheating during high-performance driving when the car is being pushed to its limits. However, even on congested roads or steep inclines where the transmission undergoes increased exertion, N DCT will guarantee a smooth and stable journey.
N DCT introduces even more high-performance driving features
The N DCT enables exclusive high-performance functions that are sure to bring a grin to the driver’s face: N Power Shift, N Grin Shift and N Track Sense Shift. These features are enhancing the car capabilities by using a dedicated shift logic management.
N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 percent of throttle, thereby mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels. This enhances fun to drive by giving a “push feel” when upshifting. The accompanying bang sound coming from the partial cylinder cut of the exhaust underlines the sporty performance.
N Grin Shift (NGS) maximises engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds. In order to get maximum acceleration, the car will directly shift down to the most appropriate gear. To activate, the driver pushes a dedicated button on the steering wheel, and a countdown begins on the cluster showing the remaining seconds for this function. After the “boost” has ended, drivers must wait at least 40 seconds to use it again. This feature allows the driver to use the full potential of the car with only one button – for example, when chasing for the best lap time. It can also be a benefit when overtaking or merging on a highway.
Finally, N Track Sense Shift (NTS) optimises adaptive shift for racetrack driving, helping the driver to focus more on the steering. It recognises when the conditions are optimal for dynamic driving on a racetrack and activates automatically. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, the car selects the right gear and shift timing in sport driving conditions to provide optimal performance, just like a professional race car driver.
These dedicated N features are in addition to five different drive modes of the N Grin Control System: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and Custom.
Unlike with a traditional automatic transmission vehicle, in Hyundai vehicles with N DCT, the driver can choose to turn off the creep function. When the creep function is turned “off” and the car is in gear D, the car does not automatically roll when the brake pedal is released. Depending on the driver, this racetrack feature can also be useful to enhance comfort and convenience. Creep off mode can be activated or deactivated via the N custom settings.
The all-new KONA N with N DCT also offers drivers the option to switch to real manual mode using the paddle shifters or the gear knob. The memory logic will prevent the transmission from automatically upshifting when the RPM limit is reached. That way, manual control allows the driver to sustain high revs when needed for an even sportier driving experience.
N DCT completes extensive test program
N DCT was tested on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife for approximately 1,350 laps for durability alone during its development phase. The wet DCT was optimised for top endurance in order to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles.
The iconic Nürburgring racetrack is known as one of the world’s most challenging racetracks. With 73 corners and 20.8 kilometres of tarmac, it is also a motorsport complex and home to Hyundai’s own testing centre. Hyundai’s accelerated durability tests are conducted there. Each car taking part in these tests laps the Nürburgring at least 480 times (10,000 km) in both dry and wet conditions, simulating up to 180,000 km of severe driving in just five to six weeks. The constant combination of hard acceleration, rapid deceleration, and heavy cornering push the vehicles to their limits, and the variable surfaces and camber ensure top performance even in adverse conditions.
KONA N: a ‘hot SUV’ with 280 PS and N DCT
The all-new KONA N featuring N DCT will be the latest addition to the Hyundai N family, Hyundai’s high-performance, motorsport-inspired line-up. It combines the uncompromising performance of an N model with the comfort and convenience of an SUV. Performance lovers will appreciate the 2.0 T‑GDI engine with 280 PS. It features flat power characteristic that provides more torque and power at mid and high-range RPM’s. The new higher amount of torque is utilising more of the engine’s potential in everyday driving situations. The new engine power characteristic also improves acceleration in the mid- and high-speed range and delivers a consistently high performance, even in a variety of outside temperature conditions.