Hyundai unveils new subcompact SUV Kona

Hyundai unveils new subcompact SUV Kona

Hyundai Motor has focused on Sonata and other sedans and arrived late in the subcompact SUV sector that snowballed almost 10 times from 2010 to 2016. The turbo engine will make the Kona one of the most powerful SUVs in the class. It counts Nissan Motor Corp.'s Juke and Honda Motor Co.'s CR-V as rivals of the Kona in the U.S.

The Kona's stand-out design is reinforced by the car's voluminous, aggressive body styling, that emphasizes the car's well-proportioned, dynamic silhouette. "We expect this brilliant addition to the range to be at or near the top of its class for capability and desirability, not just for the price and value, though we'll definitely get that last part right, too". It's matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the petrol Kona can clock 0-100kmph in 10 seconds, Hyundai claims. The 1.6 diesel model is scheduled to be launched there next year. Subcompact crossover sales surged 30 percent in 2016 to 507,575 vehicles; sales are up another 14 percent through May. With a strong, impactful design and uncompromised individuality, the Kona is created to appeal to modern customers with active lifestyles. The initial concept came from Hyundai's Californian studio, and was then overseen from Europe by ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer, and former Bentley and Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke in Korea.

Kona is based on the Intrado Concept that was showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. "Kona is a vehicle that manages to be distinctive to look at, inside and out, but not so challenging that it turns people away".

The Kona compact SUV comes with a wheelbase of 2,600mm and measures 4,165mm in length, 1,800mm in width and 1,550mm in height.

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Now, Hyundai is poised to move back into the segment with a new model called Kona. The rear suspension was also optimized for better ease of acccess for the rear occupants.

An adaptation of the second-gen PD i30's platform sits beneath Kona.

Australia will carry out local suspension tuning for all Kona versions, and there's potential for a Kona SR model down the track with the i30 SR's 150kW engine.

"We are going to partner with more ICT and IT companies so we can further develop EV cars ... we are very much open to global partnerships".

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A reversing camera is expected on all variants, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The global editions of the Kona will also get safety features such as the forward collision-avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, high beam assist, blind-spot collision warning and driver attention warning.

Riding on the small SUV boom, the automaker will aim to sell 150,000 units overseas and 45,000 units here in 2018, the company said.

Under the skin, the body frame comprises nearly 52 per cent advanced high strength steels, imbuing Kona with "class-leading passive safety levels".

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Full Australian model specifications and pricing will be confirmed closer to its local arrival in late September.

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