Powertrain

2022 Hyundai Kona N getting Veloster's 8-speed wet-type DCT with some enhancements

2022 Hyundai Kona N revealed, but the automaker isn't telling all just yet.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai is giving its highest performance Kona the same transmission that you'll find in the Veloster N. For enthusiasts, that's a very good thing.

The compact crossover is more and more being seen as the American successor to the hot hatch. The Mazda CX-30 Turbo recently piqued enthusiasm among true drivers who can't afford supercars and need something more practical to hoon around in.

Now, the Kona N is poised to deliver similar driving dynamics and performance. Hyundai has slowly been leaking out details about the 2022 Hyundai Kona N over the last year and the revelation that it will have an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission, known as N DCT, is just the latest tidbit to come to light.

2022 Hyundai Kona Hyundai has upgraded its wet DCT mechanics in recent years making it hard-wearing.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

2022 Hyundai Kona

The Kona N DCT is based on a modified version of its in-house-developed 8DCT. It's had enhancements in recent years that have made it more durable and ready to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles. The N DCT will be standard on the Kona.

Hyundai will pair the N DCT with a 276-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injected engine that has been tuned especially for the model. The transmission control unit is calibrated for N enthusiasts.

The wet-type DCT is structurally similar to a manual transmission but, instead of the typical dry-type gearbox, it uses two electric oil pumps that are designed to reduce friction between the moving parts, cooling the clutch, and allowing greater torque.

Other features of the N DCT include N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift functionality. These settings have dedicated shift-logic management. N Power Shift engages when the car accelerates with more than 90-percent throttle. N Grin Shift maximizes engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds, providing a boost. N Track Sense optimized adaptive shift for the race track.

The N Grin Control System has five different drive modes: 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 forward when the brake pedal is released.

Drivers can switch to manual mode for more control over shift points, utilizing the paddle shifters or gear knob. In manual mode, the downshift memory logic will avoid downshifting during high RPM operation. Memory functionality remembers the command and executes only when the acceptable RPM is reached.

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The 2023 Sportage Hybrid starts at around $28,000.

Kia

Kia's moving full steam ahead to an all-electric future, but the automaker's intermediate models should not be overlooked. Kia and Hyundai do hybrids as well as anyone, and the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is coming soon with new tech, updated styling, and a value-forward price. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in spring.

2023 Kia Sportage HybridThe Sportage Hybrid delivers up to 39 mpg.Kia

Kia offers the Sportage hybrid in three trims: The $28,505 LX, $32,205 EX, and $37,405 SX-Prestige. All models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a 44kW electric motor that combine to produce 226 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shifter is standard, and all-wheel drive become standard at the EX trim. The powertrain is efficient for an SUV, delivering up to 39 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

Kia says the Sportage Hybrid's interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for almost 25 inches of display. Standard tech is generous, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also plenty of safety tech. Kia adds standard gear that includes:

  • Driver attention warning system
  • LED headlights
  • Lane following assist and lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warnings with cyclist detection
  • Rear occupant alerts
  • Rearview monitor
  • Reverse parking distance warnings
Several optional features are available, including blind spot warnings, forward parking distance warnings, navigation-based cruise control, and more.

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New hot hatch

This is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

The GR Corolla is headed for our shores later this year.

Toyota

Car enthusiasts in the United States frequently have to watch as automakers release wild performance cars, particularly hatchbacks and wagons, that we can't get. Surprisingly, it's Toyota that is here to save us all. The automaker's GR Yaris hatchback made waves in global markets when it landed a couple years ago, and now it's bringing a beefed-up GR Corolla to the U.S. that will get many of that car's rally-inspired go-fast bits.

Two trims will be available at launch. The "entry-level" model is the Core trim, which comes later in 2022. In 2023, Toyota will release a limited Circuit Edition that gets upgraded performance components and a nicer interior.

The Corolla hot hatch shares its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with the GR Yaris, but in the Corolla it got a bump to 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The car comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and Toyota's GR-Four AWD system. The driver can change the GR's power distribution to suit the situation and driving style. The system can send up to 70 percent of power to the rear.

2023 Toyota GR CorollaThe GR Corolla gets a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.

Though it's based on the standard car, the GR Corolla is wider than its counterpart, and features more weld points for better structural rigidity. Toyota says it used extensive structural adhesive throughout as well, which should further improve handling. The car rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires standard.

The GR's interior features a driver-oriented setup with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a short-throw shifter positioned for easy reach by the driver. The Core trim comes with cloth upholstery and the Circuit Edition gets suede and synthetic leather. Both models offer sport seats with GR logos and the Circuit Edition brings heating for the front buckets.

Toyota will offer three packages to upgrade the Core Edition:

  • Performance package: front and rear Torsen limited slip differentials (LSD)
  • Technology package : JBL premium audio, navigation, and wireless smartphone charging
  • Cold Weather package: Heated front seats and heated steering wheel

2023 Toyota GR CorollaA six-speed manual transmission is the only option. Toyota

Toyota hasn't given out pricing details for the GR Corolla, but we should learn more soon. The Core trim is due out later this year and the Circuit Edition will be sold as a 2023 model year exclusive for the car's first year on sale.

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