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  3. 2022 Hyundai Kona N Forgoes Stick Shift for Trick Dual-Clutch Gearbox

It’s no six-speed manual, but it’s better than a torque converter.

Hmm. Right around the time that BMW decided dual-clutch automatic transmissions aren’t worth putting in its performance cars anymore, Hyundai’s N-division starts putting DCTs in just about everything. There is, of course, an obvious link between BMW and Hyundai, and it comes down to a man by the name of Albert Biermann. Biermann spearheaded BMW’s M division for years and now runs research and development at Hyundai. Now we’re getting a few more details on the DCT that will feature as the only transmission option in the upcoming 2022 Hyundai Kona N.

We’ll let you decide for yourselves if Biermann has anything to do with Hyundai’s recently announced decision to include a wet-style DCT in the upcoming Kona N. We’re not ashamed of the fact we thoroughly enjoy the standard Kona, which benefits from a raft of updates for 2021, including the addition of an N Line model. That trim will soon be joined by the high-performance Kona N, which is due to feature model-specific styling, inside and out. A more aggressive face, twin exhausts, a reworked rear bumper, a new decklid spoiler, and bigger wheels have already been teased.

The wet-style DCT in the Kona N uses two electric oil pumps to reduce friction between cogs. The setup also helps cool the transmission. The result is that more power can be transferred from the engine to the transmission more of the time, which should result in better performance and better fuel economy than a stick, per Hyundai. Hyundai also says the DCT provides an “engaging experience,” and while we’d argue that DCTs don’t hold a candle to a proper manual, we’re also willing to admit that a compact performance SUV with a manual would likely struggle to find buyers. So an eight-speed dual-clutch auto it is, and the transmission will be paired to a 275-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4.

While we don’t quite know the torque number yet, we assume the figure won’t be far off the Veloster N’s 260 lb-ft of twist. Maybe, just maybe Hyundai will turn the wick up a little bit to compensate for what will be a little extra weight—after all, N Grin mode on the Veloster N does boost its torque output to 278 lb-ft for 20 seconds at a time. All we know for sure is that the Kona N is due to be revealed any day now.

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