Hyundai Motor plays catch up with new subcompact SUV
13 June, 2017, 11:04 | Author: Jacqueline Ellis
Hyundai Motor unveiled its fourth sport utility vehicle, the Kona, on Monday, which will go on sale in Korea this month, followed by North America and Europe.
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.
Chung did not confirm if the new SUV models or the EV Kona would be launched in the European market. Only time will tell.
"Hyundai Motor tried to create a value unique to the Kona that encompasses optimal technology and passion (based) on thorough market research, rather than rushing into the market", said Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, at the world premiere event held at the Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang city in Gyeonggi province. The Kona region is famous among thrill-seeking travellers and the island's energetic image is reflected in the innovative, practical and highly functional design of Hyundai Motor's new lifestyle-focused SUV.
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. Its low and wide stance complements the car's stylish profile, with the long wheel base and short overhangs ensuring sporty, nimble handling, in addition to delivering superior driving stability at high speed.
Composite lamps - separate from the main head and tail-lights - are a key styling feature of Kona.
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The Kona's front is powerful, as its armour shows its readiness for extreme activities.
It's likely that Hyundai's European and United Kingdom divisions would consider selling a smaller SUV; however, an even bigger auto than the Santa Fe would probably be restricted to markets like North America.
The new Kona is offered with a combination of petrol and diesel engines of various power outputs depending on the market.
The Korean version of the new Kona is powered by a 2.0-litre MPI petrol engine that makes 149PS max power and 179 Nm of top torque @ 4,500 rpm. This will endow the Kona with 0-100km/h times of 10.0 seconds or 7.7 seconds respectively, with top speed at 194km/h for the 2.0 and 210km/h for the 1.6 turbo. It's a unit shared with the Elantra and Veloster down to its 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The 1.6 diesel model is scheduled to be launched there next year.
For suspension, Kona gets MacPherson struts at the front. The system incorporates SUV geometry for refined body movement on rough roads or harsh off-road terrain. Different rear suspension systems have been developed for both FWD and 4WD layouts. Hyundai also will fit some models with active lane control and blind-spot monitors. Navigation, in-car data, a rearview camera, a head-up display, smartphone wireless charging, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and HD and satellite radio, will be available.
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