The Hyundai Kona and its Green Future in the B Segment
South Korean car maker Hyundai has just showcased the Kona late, but with a future-oriented platform. It is a compact SUV (sports utility vehicle) designed to win over new customers in the highly lucrative B segment, and will compete especially against the Mazda CX-3, the Renault Captur or the Opel Mokka X. The Korean car maker’s current SUV model portfolio comprising the Tucson, Santa Fe and Grand Santa Fe has therefore been expanded downwards. When the car launches on the German market in a few weeks, Hyundai Germany’s managing director Markus Schrick is hoping it will mimic the commercial success of Hyundai’s other SUV models.
The company has managed to sell more than 1.5 million SUVs in Europe since the launch of the first-generation Santa Fe in 2001. The compact SUV should sustain this success as the developers have provided the Kona with its own platform including a rigid safety body with a stable passenger cab, defined crumple zones and side impact protection in the doors. About 51 percent of the sheet metal used is also advanced high strength steel. This not only improves crash characteristics but also chassis rigidity. This rigidity is an important requirement for the off-road version with all-wheel drive, which is offered as an alternative to the front-wheel-drive vehicle.
Ready for electric mobility
The compact SUV masters the off-road section at the gates of Barcelona with surprising ease. On 17 October, Hyundai invited the press there for the SUV’s first test drive both to showcase the vehicle as an ideal city car, and also to report that the Kona will come with a 200-hp, all-electric drive in the coming year. Only a few design changes are required to enable the car to travel almost 500 kilometres with a fully charged lithium-ion battery, but the electric Kona will only be available with a range of 390 kilometres at launch.
Until the launch of this emission-free version, only two petrol engine versions will be available. This includes the well-known 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with 120 hp that delivers its maximum torque of 172 Nm via a six-speed manual transmission. In contrast, the 177-hp, 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This transmission distributes the engine’s 265 Nm (maximum torque) to all four wheels. A new Euro-6d-compliant, 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with two power outputs (115 hp and 136 hp) should follow from the summer of 2018 according to Hyundai. The SUV will then come with all-wheel drive combined with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT).