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Geneva show: Hyundai plugs-in with Kona Electric

Electric avenue: The Hyundai Kona Electric is yet to be officially confirmed for Australia, but is tipped to arrive Down Under in the fourth quarter of this year.

Australian arrival firming for Hyundai Kona Electric following Geneva show debut

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Hyundai logo28 Feb 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS

HYUNDAI has ripped the covers off its emissions-free Kona Electric ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show next week, with Australia’s fist battery-powered small SUV likely to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.

Globally, the Kona Electric will be offered with two powertrain specifications – a 39.2kWh lithium-ion polymer battery producing 99kW with 300km of driving range, and a more potent 64kWh battery capable of pumping out 150kW with 470km of range.

Hyundai Australia would likely take the more powerful version only, which will sit as the flagship of the Kona range that currently tops out with the $36,000 Highlander AWD, and could boost the asking price to around $50,000.

The 99kW motor can be fully recharged in around 6 hours and 10 minutes through a standard AC charging point, while the 150kW version takes approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes.

Connected to a 100kW DC fast charger, up to 80 per cent of battery capacity can be regenerated in 54 minutes in both powertrains. The charging port is located at the front of the vehicle, next to the Hyundai logo.

Both options produce 395Nm of instantaneous torque, which is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed reduction gear transmission.

Sprinting from zero to 100km/h takes 9.3 seconds and 7.6s for the 99kW and 150kW versions, respectively, while energy consumption is rated at 14.8kWh and 15.2kWh/100km.

Hyundai has removed the gear lever from the car in favour of buttons, eliminating the need for mechanical linkages and increasing space at the front of the car.

Like many other electrified vehicles, the Kona Electric features regenerative braking, however the intensity of the braking can be adjusted by the driver via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Stylistically, the Electric distinguishes itself from its internal combustion siblings in a number of ways starting with the closed grille, revised headlight bezel and unique front bumper.

Silver elements are used along the side sills, while a unique bumper design is used at the rear.

Seven exterior colours are available with three different roof tones, meaning a total of 21 colour combinations are on offer.

Inside, the Electric gains a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster featuring information such as battery charge level, energy flow and driving mode, a head-up display, electric parking brake, power front seats with heating and ventilation, and an optional heated steering wheel.

Boot space is the same as petrol-powered variants at 373 litres, but drops to 332L including storage of the charging cable.

The 7.0-inch touchscreen display is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and features a reversing camera with dynamic guidance lines. Customers can optionally upgrade to an 8.0-inch unit.

Music is piped through an eight-speaker Krell sound system with 45W per channel and a 200mm subwoofer speaker.

A full suite of advanced driver assistance technologies are available, including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist, driver attention warning and speed limit information.

Australian publicity for the Kona Electric is expected to kick off around the release of the three-variant Ioniq EV range, which is set to arrive locally around mid-year.

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