Hyundai introduced its Kona Electric crossover to U.S. media at a driving introduction in Southern California. Kona Electric rides on an all-new CUV platform and is Hyundai’s first compact electric crossover for the U.S. market, appealing to consumers with active, eco-focused lifestyles of all kinds.
Kona Electric’s exterior styling features voluminous, aggressive body styling complemented by a low and wide stance for great looks and confident handling in a variety of urban and adventure-oriented driving environments.
It joins Hyundai’s successful new Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe in a full line-up of Hyundai crossovers for the U.S. market. 2019 Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available in the beginning of 2019, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.
“Our new Kona Electric crossover is a stylish and efficient compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features.”
Kona Electric offers a powerful, efficient electric drivetrain and a stylish, roomy interior. A host of advanced safety features are also available on Kona Electric, including Lane Keeping Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Parking Distance Warning and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection.
MODERN DESIGN ENHANCED BY LED LIGHTING SIGNATURE
Kona Electric employs refined aesthetics with organic geometric body forms and sporty contours for a modern, eco-oriented appearance. Its distinctive design is reinforced by the car’s voluminous, futuristic body styling that emphasizes its well-proportioned, dynamic silhouette. A low and wide stance complements its profile, with a long wheelbase and short overhangs, ensuring sporty, nimble handling and control, in addition to delivering superior driving stability at highway speeds. Its refined, aero-tuned wheel arch and rear fascia cladding combines powerfully with futuristic LED lighting to create a high-tech eco appearance.
The front of Kona Electric presents a future-focused, modern presence, with a cross-hatch, debossed design element for the grille area. The electric charging port is seamlessly integrated with this grille area for convenient, head-in parking at charging stations. The front view is flanked by aero-tuned flared fenders that enhance its road presence. It’s further enhanced by a separated-headlight design signature, with LED Daytime Running Lights above and available high-efficiency LED headlights below. The visual relationship between the composite lamps, the futuristic grille and unique side cladding results in a distinctive electric crossover character.
Side-profile design elements reinforce its modern and efficient qualities. A bright-finish lower wave-like element visually connects the front and rear, as do contrasting gray fender flares. Lightweight, eco-spoke aero design wheels add a unique cue to the profile while providing aero efficiency benefits.
As with the front LED arrangement, the rear light configuration also creates a unique, signature appearance. The slim brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamps are in a separated configuration, surrounded by protective skin that begins at the C-pillar garnish. The rear bumper fascia conveys an inverse wave-form design element that simultaneously conveys ruggedness and a future-oriented powertrain. The Kona Electric coefficient of drag is a wind-cheating 0.29 Cd, an impressive aerodynamic rating for its highly functional compact CUV bodystyle.
SPACIOUS, COMFORTABLE INTERIOR
The unique features of the exterior continue inside with a strong horizontal character line creating a wide and spacious feel. Even with its compact dimensions and low roof line, the Kona Electric delivers outstanding interior roominess, especially front headroom.
The sleek and simple interior accentuates the modern and efficient exterior design. Kona Electric exclusive shift-by-wire drive controls are supported by a center console upper bridge element with an integrated open-access lower storage bin for convenience. The audio/navigation display incorporates advanced infotainment features and the available floating eight-inch seamless navigation touchscreen includes standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ capability. The floating display adds further to the occupants’ sense of interior openness and puts information front and center for the driver. Further, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls are surrounded by soft, fluid details that enhance the comfort-focused environment. Interior environments are available in either black (cloth interior only), or a light gray and blue dual-tone color scheme in leather interior options.
POWERFUL ELECTRIC PROPULSION WITH 258-MILE RANGE
The Kona Electric powertrain employs a high-efficiency 150 kW (201 horsepower) permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor supplied by a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor develops 291 lb.-ft. of torque distributed to the front wheels. The powertrain inverter has a power density of 25.4 kVA per liter. The battery system is liquid-cooled and operates at 356 volts. Battery pack energy density is 141.3 Wh/kg (greater than Chevy Bolt), with a total battery system weight under 1,000 lbs. In addition, Kona Electric EPA-estimated MPGe is 132 city, 108 highway, and 120 combined.
Kona Electric Motor Drive System
The Kona Electric utilizes a standard Level-II on-board charging system capable of a 7.2 kW rate of charge for rapid recharging characteristics. Kona Electric estimated range is a segment-leading 258 miles, meeting the varying needs of owner lifestyles. An eighty percent charge can be achieved in 54 minutes with a Level-III quick charge (zero to 80 percent charge @ 100 kW charging capability), using the SAE-Combo charging port, while a 7.2 kW Level-II charger takes nine hours and thirty-five minutes. This fast-charging capability is standard on the Kona Electric. For charging convenience, the charging port is located in the front grille area for head-in parking ease whenever charging is needed.
ADVANCED INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY
Kona Electric offers a full suite of sophisticated technologies paired with user-friendly functionality to keep passengers informed and entertained. The premium infotainment system offers various advanced connectivity features, including standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio and next-generation Blue Link® LTE-powered connectivity. The standard seven-inch color LCD display includes AM/FM/MP3 touchscreen audio, auxiliary inputs, voice-command recognition and Rear View Monitor. The available eight-inch touchscreen navigation display includes next-generation Blue Link, traffic flow and incident data via HD radio, Infinity® premium audio with eight speakers, subwoofer and Clari-Fi ™ music-restoration technology. Smartphone integration is also included in the premium system.
Because some Kona Electric buyers will have downsized from a larger CUV, Kona Electric offers features that they would be accustomed to in larger CUV segments, such as a seven-inch color LCD electroluminescent gauge cluster, power driver’s seat, leather heated seats, automatic air conditioning and proximity key. A Heads-Up Display system is available, projecting a virtual image onto the transparent panel mounted behind the instrument panel, which helps the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. With a generous, eight-inch projected-image size and outstanding luminance, the Heads-Up Display provides both excellent day- and night-time visibility. Information projected includes speed, navigation instructions, safety and audio system information. Deployed vertically by a simple touch of a button beside the steering wheel, the display disappears into the dashboard when not in use.
In a first for the segment, Kona Electric offers smartphone wireless charging. To charge a device, simply place a compatible smartphone on the wireless-charging interface located in the center console storage, recharging without the need for cables. The system indicates when the phone has fully charged, reminds occupants to remove their phone when exiting the vehicle, and detects when a foreign object is in the recharging area that could interfere with charging. The system is fully compliant with WPC’s Qi standard for ease of use.
NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
All Kona Electric models include complimentary three-year Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and guidance services (models equipped with factory navigation). Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Google Home®, Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search by Voice®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. In addition, Kona Electric adds exclusive EV-oriented features such as Remote Charge Management, Charge Scheduling, EV Power History and EV Range.
Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the Blue Link smartphone app, Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and using the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps.
MYHYUNDAI WITH BLUE LINK® APP
Owners can manage and monitor the Kona Electric remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Kona Electric and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Kona Electric.
For Kona Electric owners who will charge at their residence, one of the most useful features of the app is the ability to manage their charging schedule. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via their smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Kona Electric is plugged-in. A distinctive instrument cluster provides Kona Electric drivers with additional information about the vehicle’s functions. A charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside the vehicle.
Individuals that have different electric rates at off-peak times may want to schedule the charge to reduce cost as well as reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date.
KONA ELECTRIC NOMENCLATURE
“Kona” Electric is named after the idyllic west-coast region of the Big Island of Hawaii. The Kona region is famous among endurance triathletes and thrill-seeking travelers, and this energetic image is further reflected in the innovative and functional design of this eco-focused CUV.