Hyundai Kona: Koreans enter sub-compact SUV race
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Hyundai has unveiled its crucial new urban SUV the Kona, the conglomerate’s first small urban sports utility vehicle.
The Kona goes on sale in Korea later this year, although a launch date and pricing of the new model in New Zealand has yet to be determined.
The Kona joins the rapidly growing list of small SUVs in what is one of the hottest segments of the New Zealand new vehicle market.
It will challenge models such as the Mazda CX3 and the Honda HRV when it arrives, either late this year or early in 2018.
The company says the Kona sets a ‘bold, daring image’ that hints at the future design direction of Hyundai Motor’s next generation of SUVs.
The Kona features Hyundai’s distinctive cascading grille, flanked by wing-type fenders that dominate the front of the vehicle.
Hyundai New Zealand is expected to offer both front wheel drive and all wheel drive variants. The Kona will join the larger Hyundai Tuscon and Santa Fe SUVs already available in New Zealand.
During the Kona global launch in Soeul today, the vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Company, Euisun Chung, said the Kona was aimed at the millennial generation, and was suited to the needs of customers who pursue challenging and action-filled lifestyles.
“We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading safety features,” he said.
The model is being manufactured with several engine options - a 2-litre MPI Atkinson petrol engine, with a claimed 0-100kph time of 10 seconds. It engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and delivers maximum torque of 179Nm at 4500 rpm.
There is also a Gamma 1.6T-GDI engine option, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
There will also be a 1.6-litre GDI diesel engine option available in some markets.
The Kona, which is named after a coastal region of the Big Island in Hawaii, will feature a new head-up display unit, projecting a virtual image onto the windscreen in front of the driver.
It is said to be among the clearest and brightest head up display systems available, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while also monitoring speed and other aspects of the vehicle's operation.
The Kona will have three driving modes ( sports normal and eco), a forward collision avoidance assist feature along with lane keeping assist, high beam assist and driver attention warning systems on board.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be included in the local specification of the Kona.
Hyundai says the Kona was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsible performance for city driving.
It says the model offers a wide, long wheelbase and short overhangs to create “ a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in busy urban environments and enhanced stability when driving at speed.”