Hyundai Motor has unveiled the latest vehicle in its expanding range of SUVs, the Kona B-segment SUV.
“Kona” which takes its name after a popular Hawaiian tourist destination, continues Hyundai’s tradition of naming their crossover and SUV models after acclaimed travel destinations, such as Creta, Santa Fe, and Tucson. The Kona will go on sale in Korea later this month, followed by the North American and European markets.
The Kona’s bold exterior looks are highlighted by armour-like body cladding that combines snazzy LED lighting up front, and features at the back too, beginning at the C-pillar garnish, extending downwards to surround the slim rear LED taillamps. The sporty SUV bodywork is finished in a two-tone colour scheme, providing contrast between the body and wheels
The Kona measures 4,165mm in length, 1,800mm in width and 1,550mm in height – the wheelbase stretches some 2600mm. Slightly shorter in length than the (4,360mm) Toyota CH-R SUV but nearly identical in terms of width and height.
The Kona will be offered with a range of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged petrol engines and diesel powertrains, in 2WD or all-wheel drive configurations, depending on the marketplace.
The engines choices start off with 1.0 T-GDI turbocharged three-cylinder engine matches to a six-speed manual transmission. This turbo-charged powerplant produces 120PS and 172Nm of torque between 1,500 to 4000rpm.
There are two other petrol engines available – the 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDI (also found on the Veloster Turbo) producing 177PS and maximum torque of 265NM, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and finally, a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated (Atkinson cycle) engine, delivering 149PS and 179Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
A 1.6-litre diesel engine will be offered for select markets, including Europe.
The Kona’s platform is optimised to permit SUV levels of ground clearance, while allowing fitment of an optional 4WD system and drivetrain, in an intelligent and compact package. To integrate the optional four-wheel drive system, Hyundai’s engineers created a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space. The rear layout – suspension, fuel and exhaust components are packaged to maximize rear occupant room.
Different rear suspension systems have been developed for both 2WD and 4WD, to deliver a comfortable ride and sporty handling with either drivetrain. The rear chassis of the 2WD model receives new bush structure for the with a high-stiffness torsion beam for greater stability and control. The 4WD model’s configuration features a ‘dual-arm’ multi-link suspension system to refine overall driving dynamics on different surface types. The Kona features a McPherson strut system at the front.
On the inside – the Kona is claimed to offer a spacious and practical cabin space. A low central tunnel reduces the intrusion of legroom, while the aforementioned platform design allows for a lower floor and seating position, improving headroom and ease of access for rear occupants. The rear seats are split-folding (fold-flat) items with a two-level loading floor for longer luggage.
A ‘floating’ AVN (Audio, Visual, Navigation) monitor will incorporate the Kona’s infotainment features.
On the safety front – the Kona boasts an impressive list of active safety features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) which offers collision detection and autonomous braking. Other systems include Lane Keep Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Blind Spot and rear cross-traffic collision warning. The Kona’s body frame has also been developed with 51.8% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) to offer better passive safety.