Hyundai unveiled the U.S.-production version of its Kona crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Kona rides on an all-new CUV platform and is Hyundai’s first B-segment crossover for the U.S. market. It joins Hyundai’s Tucson, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport in the line-up of Hyundai crossovers for the U.S. market.
“Our new Kona crossover is a stylish and functional compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue active lifestyles of all kinds,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re confident it will set new standards for its segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features.”
Kona offers a pair of fuel-efficient drivetrains and a roomy interior. A whole host of advanced safety features are also available including a Lane-Keeping Assist system, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Lane Change Assist, Parking Distance Warning and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection.
A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson engine produces 147 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 132 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Atkinson cycle design maximizes the effective cylinder expansion ratio (compression stroke vs. power stroke) for greater efficiency. The six-speed automatic offers SHIFTRONIC manual-shifting mode and includes an overdrive lock-up torque converter for higher fuel economy at highway speeds. Powertrain NVH has been reduced further through hydraulic transmission mounts.
Limited and Ultimate trims offer the Gamma 1.6-liter 4-cylinder direct-injected, turbocharged engine generating 175 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1500-4500 rpm, an advantage over its key competitors. Peak torque delivery starts at only 1,500 rpm and holds through 4,500 rpm, for low-RPM responsiveness and performance in everyday driving conditions. The turbocharger features low-inertia turbo-spooling response characteristics and an electronic wastegate control for more precise control of manifold pressure. Internally, piston-cooling oil jets ensure cooler piston temperatures for enhanced engine life. The Gamma engine also features a water jacket insert that prioritizes cooling in the upper level of the cylinder block where more combustion heat is generated, resulting in lower cylinder-head temperatures and allowing for leaner air/fuel mixtures for better fuel efficiency.
The turbo engine is coupled to a seven-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This Hyundai-developed dual-clutch transmission offers outstanding efficiency with quick, seamless shifting and brisk acceleration. When compared with some competitors’ continuously-variable transmissions, this DCT is able to handle more torque with minimal power interruption throughout the engine operating range for natural acceleration and premium aural character with greater durability.
The optional AWD system and drivetrain is packaged to offer a spacious interior despite its compact exterior dimensions. To integrate the optional four-wheel drive system, Hyundai engineers packaged a new intercooler layout and mounting position for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space. The suspension, fuel, and exhaust components are carefully packaged to maximize rear occupant room. As a result, Kona offers a generous 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume.
The powertrain layout is also designed to create a compact platform capable of incorporating the car’s four-wheel-drive system while maintaining interior space. Suspension component layout is minimized at the rear, allowing for a lower load floor and seating position to deliver impressive headroom and ease of access for rear occupants. Designers also maximized interior space for luggage storage capabilities, reflecting the requirements of customers with active lifestyles. The split-folding rear seats fold flat via a dual-level loading floor that gives three inches of additional vertical space and allows easy access for a variety of recreational equipment.
A number of extroverted color variations allow buyers to further express themselves by choosing colors such as Chalk White, Ultra Black, Sonic Silver, Thunder Gray, Pulse Red, Surf Blue and Lime Twist. The roof is finished with an optional color-contrasting color scheme, providing high contrast between the body and wheels.
2018 Kona models will be available at Hyundai dealers in the first quarter of 2018.
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