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Hyundai Kona Electric Showcases Powertrain Versatility

Hyundai Kona Electric (1)

The Hyundai Kona Electric was introduced last week at the New York Auto Show, marking another level of versatility that the brand is bringing to its US utility lineup.

The Kona Electric is a pure EV subcompact crossover that go an estimated 250 miles on a single charge. It’s part of the series of announcements that Hyundai made to introduce an all-new lineup. Last February, the South Korean automaker said that the redesigned Santa Fe will have a diesel option in 2019, which marks Hyundai’s first diesel in the US market. The fuel-powered Nexo will also continue to be around to build on the brand’s “hydrogen legacy.”

The Kona Electric will be rolled out to targeted markets only. Hyundai said that the EV subcompact crossover will be produced in Ulsan, Korea, and will be initially available in California. Later on, other states with California’s zero-emission vehicle regulations will follow the launch. The availability will start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

What the Kona EV brings to the table is “peace of mind” and “flexibility,” according to Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith. Why? The 250-mile range is father than the capability of EVs before the Kona EV. Previous EVs can only muster up around 100 or 150 miles.

The closest competitor of the Kona EV is the Chevy Bolt, a hatchback that has the capacity of 238 miles in a single charge. Though Tesla Model 3 has a 220-mile range, it is a sedan and does not fall under the same category as the Kona.

A lot of cross-shopping will happen, Smith claims, as customers who want EVs suddenly have the option of buying a CUV because it’s out in the market now. The 250-mile range will also allow many people to go two to three days without charging, and that’s a big factor to consider.

The Kona EV gets 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo space, which is the same as the gasoline version of the crossover. Pricing details have not been announced yet.

Hyundai Kona Is Going Tiny With Its New Crossover

hyundai kona (7)

Hyundai just announced that its new mini crossover called the Kona is going to be on sale early next year in the United States. That means that the South Korean automaker is finally ready to make a splash in the car industry’s hottest segments.

And that’s not all. According to a source, the Hyundai Kona subcompact crossover will also usher in a new phase for the brand as it features for the first time the automaker’s new design language. That’s a surprising move for the company, which is suffering from a sales slump in the US and is now pressured to do good in the crossovers segment.

The styling originated from Irvine, California, Hyundai’s design studio.  It features narrow LED daytime running lights mounted high near the hood line. There are also separate headlights that are positioned lower down the fascia. The effect? The Kona, up front, looks like the Nissan Juke or Jeep Cherokee.

The look isn’t something everyone will love or adore, but the Nissan Juke was surprisingly successful in its sales both in Europe and even in the United States. The Cherokee, on the other hand, sold 200,000 units a year in the US in the last three years. These statistics means well for the Kona and any subsequent Hyundai badges.

Hyundai’s new looks for the crossover will be used on the 2018 and 2019 model of the Santa Fe Sport, which spy shots showed a headlight setup and honeycomb grille similar to the Kona. The new crossover language design, however, signals Hyundai’s willingness to finally break away from a decade of having strong design connection among its crossovers. Now, each nameplate will have a distinct design.

The similar look was necessary because Hyundai wasn’t such a known brand 10 years ago. But now that it has differentiated itself from the rest of the Asian automakers, it’s time to give each vehicle in the lineup a fresh look.

Hyundai Santa Fe Spy Shots Surface Online

hyundai sta fe (3)

After unveiling the new Hyundai Kona, new spy shots surfaced online showing a camouflaged prototype of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe. Despite the heavy covering, the form of the spied vehicle seems to bear a striking resemblance with the Kona.

The shape of the Santa Fe’s nose in the images here shows that it will sport an aggressive version of the Hyundai’s cascading grille much like the Kona. The bulges in the headlights, bumpers and front lip all indicate that it is based on its smaller crossover sibling too.

The source also noticed from the frontal shots of the Santa Fe that it is carrying Recaro racing seats. But then again, the seats might only not make it in the production version of the auto.

Going to the rear, the new Santa Fe looks like it is keeping many styling elements found in its predecessor. The roofline and window panels are almost alike. There is probably an update in the taillights of the vehicle though.

The report said that the Santa Fe in the spy shots might carry a 2019 model year since we just saw an update in its current model this year. The earliest possible unveiling of the vehicle might be in the next spring or next fall.

A Look at the Present Hyundai Santa Fe

As a recap, the present refreshed model of the Santa Fe has a starting price of $30,800. The vehicle is offered in eight trims. The auto is offered in SE, Limited, SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate versions. Each of the mentioned models come in two variants—the front wheel drive and the all-wheel drive. The current Santa Fe comes with a V6 engine with 290 hp.

New Hyundai Santa Fe Spy Shots

Check out the spy shots of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe model provided by Autoblog in the gallery below:

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