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Hyundai launches Kona, its first global B-segment SUV

Hyundai has unveiled the latest vehicle in its expanding line-up of SUVs, the Kona compact SUV. The Kona joins Tucson, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport in the Hyundai line-up.

“With the Kona, we have created a stylish and highly functional compact SUV, perfectly suited to the needs of customers who pursue challenging, action-filled lifestyles,” said Euisun Chung, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company. “We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class leading safety features.”

Hyundai Kona

Kona will stand out from the crowd with high contrast design elements and futuristic LED lighting. It has a low and wide stance with a long wheel base and short overhangs. Hyundai’s new family identity, the Cascading Grille, features a mesh pattern, flanked by exceptional wing-type fenders that dominate the front. The side carries a contrasting black ‘armor’ that provides a protective skin and visually connects the front to the rear. The rear light configuration has slim brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamp that are placed in a separate configuration, surrounded by protective skin that begins at the C-pillar garnish. The roof is finished with a two-tone color scheme, providing high contrast between the body and wheels.

The sleek and simple layout interior contrasts with the bold exterior. The AVN (Audio, Visual, Navigation) monitor incorporates Hyundai's advanced infotainment features. The monitor appears to float on the dashboard, contributing to the sense of openness. SUV-level ground clearance and an elevated seating position ensure better visibility for drivers.

Plenty interior space was created optimizing the underfloor layout, including the 4WD drivetrain and exhaust system, to reduce central tunnel intrusion. The suspension component layout is optimized at the rear, allowing for a lower floor and seating position to deliver class-leading levels of headroom and ease of access for rear occupants. The split-folding rear seats fold flat, with a two-level loading floor that allows easy access for a bicycle or golf club storage.

A combination of gasoline and diesel engines of various power outputs are available dependent on the market. A 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson engine produces 147 hp, with a 0-62 mph time of 10 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph.

The Gamma 1.6T-GDI engine boasts 175 hp, a 0-62 mph time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. The engine is mated to Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT).

In addition to the 1.6T-GDI engine, customers in Europe can also opt for Hyundai’s downsized 1.0 T-GDI turbocharged three-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission. Also available will be a 1.6 diesel engine for select markets, including Europe.

The platform is optimized to permit SUV levels of ground clearance, while the optional 4WD system and drivetrain is packaged to offer a spacious interior. To integrate the optional four-wheel drive system, Hyundai engineers created a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space. The rear layout of the platform is also optimized to save space. The suspension, fuel and exhaust components are packaged to maximize rear occupant room.

The front suspension features a McPherson strut system, receiving a new sub-frame bush mounting and best-in-class tire trace to enhance comfort and reduce NVH. Different rear suspension systems have been developed for both 2WD and 4WD, to deliver a comfortable ride and sporty handling with either drivetrain. At the front, the rear subframe receives new bush structure for the 2WD suspension set-up, with a high-stiffness torsion beam for greater stability and control. The 4WD configuration features a dual-arm multi-link suspension system to refine overall driving dynamics on all surface types.

Hyundai also unveiled a special edition that shares the name of Iron Man. With greater width (+40mm) the Kona Iron Man Special Edition also has special LEDs are applied to the headlights, which sit beneath a matt grey hood, embellished with red and gold accents. There are also 19-inch directional wheel badged with an Iron Man Mask in the center as well as off-road tires 716mm in outside diameter.

The Kona will go on sale in Korea later this month, followed by North America and Europe.


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