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Hyundai Drops U.S. Details On 2019 Kona Electric In New York

The Prius may have just found its visual match.

Following the market debut of the first-ever Kona subcompact crossover, Hyundai is doubling down on by offering a full-electric variant with upwards of 250 miles of range. Simply called Kona Electric, Hyundai's new crossover makes its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show sporting an Ioniq-beating 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 201-horsepower electric motor. (Only one battery pack will be offered in the U.S.) This is, then, Hyundai's longest-range electric vehicle to date. But there's one glaring problem.

The Kona Electric has a face that's highly unlikely to form uniform consensus amongst those who observe it traversing from that fair-trade coffee shop in hipsterville to the quaint antique store on the other side of town with all those neato chairs. Either you'll love it for its supposed future-forward design or you'll think it's the second coming of Bane from the Batman film series. Regardless, the Kona Electric's face sure makes a statement. Beneath that quirky facade sits Hyundai's latest electric drive system solely powering the front wheels through a single-speed reduction gear with a 7.981 axle ratio. Hyundai didn't release acceleration times as efficiency is the name of the game here.

Hyundai claims the Kona Electric's liquid-cooled battery pack weighs under 1,000 pounds and can be charged to 80% in 54 minutes with a Level-III quick charge. The charging port is located in a similar location to that of the Kia Soul EV, behind a panel in its not-quite-a-grille. All the electric drivetrain gear won't encroach on utility, either. The Kona Electric sports the same 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume as the standard Kona. Cargo space can be further expanded be dropping its split-fold rear seats to create a near-flat load floor. Aimed squarely at urban millennials, the Kona Electric will arrive with lots of electronic infotainment and safety kit.

As standard, the Kona Electric will come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio. A larger 8-inch system is paired with a premium Infinity audio solution along with traffic flow and incident data via HD radio. All Kona Electrics come with a wireless charging pad for compatible phones and other electronic devices. On the safety front, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist comes standard, while Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collison-Avoidance Assist are optional extras. Expect the Kona Electric to arrive starting in west coast states in Q4 of 2018.

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