Hyundai Kona Electric Revealed With Class-Leading Range


Hyundai's new electric SUV has nearly twice as much range as the Nissan Leaf.

Ahead of its world debut at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, Hyundai has lifted the wraps off its new electric version of the Kona SUV. Called the Kona Electric, it represents the first electric subcompact SUV on the market and the second Hyundai EV after the Ioniq, combining the practicality of an SUV with the power of electric powertrains. Like its combustion engine-powered sibling, the Kona Electric features a funky design, with a two-tone roof, flowing shape, and LED DRLs positioned above the LED headlights.

Unlike the standard car, the Kona Electric has a closed grille, giving the SUV a clean and stylish appearance while improving the SUV's aerodynamics. Two powertrain options are available for the Kona Electric. The entry-level model is powered by a 133-horsepower electric motor providing 291 lb-ft of instant torque. Its 39.2-kWh battery pack provides enough juice for a maximum range of 186 miles as per new European WLTP regulations. The range should be similar in the American model too, since WLTP ratings are now similar to EPA ratings. 0-62 mph takes 9.3 seconds in the entry-level Kona Electric before the small electric SUV tops out at 104 mph.

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The range-topping version, on the other hand, features one of the most powerful electric motors according to Hyundai, offering class-leading performance and range. Its electric motor produces 201 hp and the same amount of torque, enabling the electric subcompact SUV to hit 0-62 mph in a respectable 7.6 seconds and reach the same top speed. Its claimed performance puts it on a par with the Toyota 86. Its bigger 64-kWh battery also provides an WLTP-rated range of up to 292 miles. For comparison, that’s nearly twice the range of the new Nissan Leaf, which can only last 151 miles on a single charge. It also beats the Chevrolet Bolt’s 238 mile-range.

According to Hyundai, the 39.2-kWh battery takes around six hours and 10 minutes to fully recharge, while the 64-kWh pack will need roughly nine hours and 40 minutes. However, using a 100-kW DC fast charger will charge the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80 percent in around 54 minutes. Hyundai also says the Kona’s new platform has allowed engineers to integrate the battery packs without compromising the cabin space. Without the charging cable, the Kona Electric provides 13.17 cubic feet of storage space, but this falls to 11.72 cubic feet with the charging cable attached.

Inside, the Kona Electric features a a digital dashboard, head-up display and a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, which can be upgraded to eight-inches. Connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth, as well as a free seven-year subscription to LIVE navigation services. Power front seats with eight-way electric adjustment and additional two-way electric lumbar support system provide optimal seating positions and comfort for each front passenger. The front seats also have heating and ventilation comfort features, while a heated steering wheel is also available as an optional extra.

In addition, the Kona Electric is fitted with an impressive range of driver assists, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind-Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. “Hyundai Motor is already leading in future mobility solutions,” said Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai. “By launching our All-New Kona Electric, we are pushing our ambitious eco car strategy forward. It's a car of no compromise – combining an SUV body type with electric-mobility. It represents Hyundai’s progressive character. With Hyundai Motor, the future is now!”

No prices or launch period have been announced yet, but we should find out more when the Hyundai Kona Electric debuts at the Geneva Motor Show next week.