Canadian premiere of the Kona, Hyundai’s new urban SUV

At the 2018 Montreal Auto Show, Hyundai has unveiled the latest vehicle in its expanding line-up of stylish SUVs, the Kona compact SUV. With a strong, impactful design and uncompromised individuality, the Kona is designed to appeal to modern customers with active lifestyles.

The Kona joins Tucson, Santa Fe XL and Santa Fe Sport in a growing line-up of Hyundai SUVs, as the company continues to widen customer choice in the segment. The Kona is expected to go on sale in Canada in late-winter of 2018.

Uncompromised individuality and purposeful character

The Kona is a brand-new challenger in the B-SUV segment, with uncompromised individuality and innovative features. The Kona’s bold, daring image hints at the future design direction of Hyundai’s next generation of SUV models and creates a unique proposition in the compact SUV segment.

Kona stands out from the crowd with high contrast design elements and striking style. Its masculine protective, ‘armor’, combines powerfully with the futuristic LED lighting to create a high-tech look. Despite its unique appearance, the Kona doesn’t sacrifice sophistication and is highly capable – a combination designed to appeal to the Millennial demographic.

Unique and stylish exterior design

The Kona’s stand-out design is reinforced by the car’s voluminous, aggressive body styling that emphasizes the car’s well-proportioned, dynamic silhouette. Its low and wide stance complements the car’s stylish profile, with the long wheel base and short overhangs ensuring sporty, nimble handling, in addition to delivering superior driving stability at high speed.

‘Composite lamps’ enhance the Kona’s high-tech and mechanical appearance. The slim daytime running lights (DRL) incorporate turn signals and are positioned in a ‘stack’, separate to the LED headlights.

The Kona’s front is powerful, as its ‘armor’ shows its readiness for extreme activities. The compact SUV also adopts Hyundai’s new family identity, the Cascading Grille, featuring a sporty mesh pattern, flanked by exceptional wing-type fenders that dominate the front design.

The visual relationship between the composite lamps, the grille, and the unique armor design results in a totally distinct character, which is important in the increasingly competitive B-SUV segment.

Further stand-out design elements at the side reinforce the car’s tough and functional qualities. Most notably the contrasting black ‘armor’ that provides a protective skin and visually connects the front to the rear.

As with the front LED arrangement, the rear light configuration also creates a truly unique signature appearance. The slim brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamp are placed in a separate configuration, surrounded by protective skin that begins at the C-pillar garnish.

In addition to the instantly recognizable shape, a number of playful color variations allow buyers to customize their Kona. The roof is finished with a two-tone color scheme, providing high contrast between the body and wheels – satisfying customers with a desire to express their individuality.

Spacious interior delivers comfort and convenience

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 delivers best-in-class interior space.

The sleek and simple layout interior contrasts with the bold, adventurous exterior design. The AVN (Audio, Visual, Navigation) monitor incorporates advanced infotainment features. The monitor appears to float on the dashboard, contributing to the sense of openness.

The mechanical air vents and functional button arrangement reflect the high-tech functionality of the exterior. The AVN and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls are surrounded by soft, fluid details that contribute to a sensuous experience and enhance the comfort-focused environment.

The new compact platform has been developed to provide customers with a true SUV experience. SUV-level ground clearance and an elevated seating position ensure better visibility for drivers and increases comfort on long journeys.

Kona offers occupants generous interior space by optimizing the underfloor layout, including the AWD drivetrain and exhaust system, to reduce central tunnel intrusion. The suspension component layout is optimized at the rear, allowing for a lower floor and seating position to deliver class-leading levels of headroom and ease of access for rear occupants.

Designers also optimized interior space to maximize luggage storage capabilities, reflecting the requirements of customers with active lifestyles. The split-folding rear seats fold flat, with a two-level loading floor that allows easy access for a bicycle or golf club storage.

New platform delivers exceptional power and performance

With a new compact SUV platform developed for the Kona, Hyundai looks to set new performance standards for the compact SUV segment. The powertrain layout is optimized to create a compact platform capable of incorporating the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system while maintaining interior space.

The Kona blends exceptional fuel efficiency with a fun urban driving experience, delivering power and performance levels that are not often found in vehicles in its segment. The small-displacement turbo-charged petrol engine delivers a dynamic driving experience for nimble, easy motoring.

A 2.0-liter Atkinson engine produces 147 horsepower. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the engine delivers maximum torque of 132 lb.-ft. at 4500rpm.

The Gamma 1.6T-GDI engine boasts 175 horsepower. The engine delivers maximum torque of 195 lb.-ft. from 1,500 to 4,500rpm and is mated to Hyundai’s efficient and responsive seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT).

The newly-developed SUV’s chassis is engineered to be rigid, topped with a lightweight body for dynamic driving performance and a comfortable ride. The platform is optimized to permit SUV levels of ground clearance, while the optional AWD system and drivetrain is intelligently packaged to offer a spacious interior despite its compact proportions.

To integrate the optional all-wheel drive system, Hyundai engineers created a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space. The rear layout of the platform is also optimized to save space. The suspension, fuel and exhaust components carefully package to maximize rear occupant room.

The front suspension features a McPherson strut system, receiving a new sub-frame bush mounting and best-in-class tire trace to enhance comfort and reduce NVH. The system incorporates SUV geometry for refined body movement on rough roads or harsh off-road terrain.

Different rear suspension systems have been developed for both front wheel drive and AWD, to deliver a comfortable ride and sporty handling with either drivetrain. At the front, the rear subframe receives new bush structure for the front wheel drive suspension set-up, with a high-stiffness torsion beam for greater stability and control. The AWD configuration features a dual-arm multi-link suspension system to refine overall driving dynamics on all surface types.

Strong and protective body for passenger safety

Hyundai is the only automobile manufacturer to make its own steel to produce its vehicles globally, providing great benefits for the Kona. The lightweight body frame has been developed with 51.8% Advanced High Strength Steel to deliver class-leading levels of passive safety.

Hot stamping methods produce lightweight, super-strong structural elements to maximize the cabin’s central safety zone. This proves that small cars can deliver exceptional passenger protection. The length of structural adhesives used in production extends to 114.5 meters, providing additional torsional rigidity and further reducing weight – which also benefits fuel efficiency.

The platform also features an innovative multi-load path structure – an advanced energy dispersion technology that boosts impact tolerance by dispersing crash energy across multiple structures to protect passengers in the event of an accident.

Class-leading driver assistance through active safety systems

Hyundai sets out to care for its customers in all of its activities. The new model showcases Hyundai’s capabilities and commitment to enhancing the safety of drivers, passengers and fellow road-users.

Class-leading active safety features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which uses the car’s front-facing camera and radar to detect imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. Three further systems also utilize the front-view camera to boost safety and convenience: Lane Keeping Assist; High Beam Assist; and Driver Attention Warning.

By sensing road markings, Lane Keep Assist helps to prevent accidental lane departure by steering the vehicle automatically if required. High Beam Assist automatically controls the high beams depending on surroundings, while the Driver Attention Warning system monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to detect driver fatigue or careless driving.

The car’s radar systems also assist with the Blind-Spot Collision Warning to detect approaching vehicles that may be obscured from view during high speed driving. The Rear Cross-Traffic Alert detects when another vehicle may have entered the car’s reversing path.

Advanced infotainment and connectivity technology

The Kona boasts a suite of sophisticated technologies, paired with user-friendly functionality to ensure driver and passengers can stay informed and entertained. The premium infotainment system offers various advanced connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay where specified with a 7- or 8-inch display.

A new combiner Head-Up Display (HUD) is fitted to the Kona, projecting a virtual image onto the clear glass panel mounted behind the instrument panel to enable the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. With a projected image size of eight-inches at a two meter distance and class-leading luminance of more than 10,000 candela per square meter, the Kona’s combiner HUD ensures both excellent day- and night-time visibility. Information projected to enhance safety and usability include speed, navigation instructions, Lane Departure Warning messages, and audio information. Deployed vertically by a simple touch of a button beside the steering wheel, the combiner disappears into the dashboard when not in use.

In a first for the segment, the Kona features smartphone wireless charging. Available as an option with all Kona models, customers simply place a compatible smartphone on the wireless charging interface, located in the center console storage, to easily recharge without the need for cables. The system also 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.

Enhanced driving dynamics for urban and off-road fun

The Kona was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for city driving. The wide, long wheelbase and short overhangs create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in busy urban environments and enhanced stability when driving at speed.

The three differentiated driving modes (Sports, Normal and Eco) optimize the torque distribution and gear-shift settings to make the compact SUV suitable for all driving style requirements. In Sport mode, there is a greater emphasis on acceleration with early downshift on braking, while Eco mode optimizes fuel economy over performance with longer gear ratios.

The Kona name

Hyundai continues the approach established by Tucson and Santa Fe of naming crossover and SUV models after acclaimed travel destinations. The Kona is named after the coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii, USA. The Kona region is famous among thrill-seeking travelers and the island’s energetic image is reflected in the innovative, practical and highly functional design of Hyundai’s new lifestyle-focused SUV.

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James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email [email protected]

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