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13 June 2017, 11:03 | Candice Butler
The height of the new SUV is lowered by 5 centimeters than that of typical compact SUVs but wider based on its "low and wide stance" design concept, according to the company. Kia will join Hyundai in launching its subcompact SUV, Stonic, starting next month. To fit in, the Kona has a wedgy shape, stout fenders with armor-like body cladding, and a contrasting roof.
The Korean manufacturer likes to name its crossover and SUV models after travel destinations - we already have Santa Fe and Tucson - so the Kona is named after a coastal district on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Kona will give the South Korean brand a competitor to the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR, to name a few.
The twin headlight arrangement and cascading grille at the front, standard fit roof rails, bold plastic cladding, short overhangs (particularly at the back) and nearly rakish roofline make the Kona stand out without going the "Fugly" route. The large grille in the lower section carries cascading grille, a new standard design bit in new generation Hyundai cars. The "composite lamps" and slim daytime running lights add to Kona's high-tech appearance.
Inside, the Kona will feature a best-in-class AVN (Audio, Visual, Navigation) monitor, floated into the dashboard, while a variety of fluid design touches will complete the look throughout the cabin.
Chung Euisun, vice chairman and the de facto heir to Hyundai Motor Group struggling with drooping sales at home and overseas, personally unveiled the automaker's first subcompact SUV Kona at Hyundai Motor's newly opened studio in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT), the diesel Kona is quicker - 0-100kmph in 7.7 seconds and top speed of 210kmph.
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The company plans to start mass producing this all-electric Kona sometime next year, though there are now no plans to offer it in the U.S. Details about this vehicle's powertrain are nonexistent, but given current industry trends, a generously sized lithium-ion battery pack seems likely.
Kona is covered in protective plastic addenda that Hyundai calls "armour".
Other markets will get a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder or a 1.6-litre diesel similar to that in the recently-launched i30, but they will miss out on Australian passports for the time being. Safety features will include forward collision avoidance which uses a forward facing camera and radar and autonomous braking to help prevent or minimise rear-end impacts.
But now the Kona is official, and it looks, in may ways, to be Hyundai's most convincing effort to date.
The car's radar systems will also assist with blind-spot collision warning, and rear-cross traffic alert. We'll also be visiting where the vehicle is built.
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