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All-New Hyundai Kona Electric on the Way; Here’s What to Expect

Totally unique among small utility vehicles By ,

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona subcompact crossover is hitting the Canadian market as we speak. A bit further down the road, the company will add a segment-first, fully electric variant. And we now know plenty about it.

Building on the expertise gained with its electrified vehicles, most notably the IONIQ sedan and the next-generation NEXO fuel-cell crossover, the new Hyundai Kona Electric merges the strengths of SUVs with the power of electric motors. The completely new platform of the Kona enables a space-saving integration of the battery pack without compromising the roominess, Hyundai claims. However, the fact sheet reveals a total cargo space of 332 litres including storage of the charging cable (373 litres without), whereas the standard Kona offers 544 litres behind the rear seats.

The promise of a fun-to-drive experience
The basic version of the lithium-ion polymer battery has a capacity of 39.2 kWh and works with a 133-hp motor to deliver a range of 299 km. There’s also a long-range 64-kWh battery version that makes it possible to cover up to 470 km on a single charge. It feeds a 201-hp motor. With 291 lb-ft of immediate torque in both cases, acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 7.6 seconds. Top speed is rated at 167 km/h.

Charging the Hyundai Kona Electric’s battery up to 80% only takes about 54 minutes using a DC fast charger, according to Hyundai. With the 7.2-kW on-board charger, AC charging takes 9 hours and 40 minutes for the long-range battery and 6 hours and 10 minutes for the shorter-range battery.

A shift-by-wire system enables an intuitive operation of the electric powertrain and eliminates the routing space required for housing the mechanical linkages between a normal shifter and the transmission, providing additional storage space up front. The driver can also adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking system by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. There’s a large 7-inch supervision cluster displaying key information about the Kona Electric’s driving performance and, in addition, the head-up display shows relevant driving information directly to the driver’s line of sight.

Design and safety
Aesthetically, the key differentiator on the Hyundai Kona Electric is the closed grille which gives a clean and stylish appearance while also enhancing aerodynamics. A selection of bright colours and the option of a two-tone roof are still on the menu. Riding on unique 17’’ alloy wheels, this model is 20mm taller and 15mm longer than the regular Kona.

Inside, look for a wide range of tech features, such as the infotainment system which integrates navigation, media and connectivity apps like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as wireless charging. Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety and driving assistance technologies are available including Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Detection including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Speed Limit Information Function.

Stay tuned for further details about the Hyundai Kona Electric specific to the Canadian market.