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Hyundai tweaks Kona Electric to add range

Boosted: The changes made to the European Kona Electrics have resulted in an extra 35km of effective range.

Hyundai Australia evaluating a few range-boosting tweaks to Kona Electric small SUV

24 Mar 2020

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has confirmed that a series of range-boosting tweaks to the Kona Electric compact SUV are under evaluation for the Australian market.


News of the update was first broken last week by British publication Autocar when it revealed the European-spec Kona Electric would be treated to a series of “unspecified chassis alterations” as well as new lower rolling resistance tyres courtesy of Michelin in a bid to reduce drag and improve efficiency.


The reduced drag and lower rolling resistance have combined to boost the Kona Electric’s effective range from 449km to 484km – an increase of 7.8 per cent.


While production of the upgraded European cars has reportedly already started, UK (right-hand drive) customers will have to wait until September to take delivery of their vehicles due to production not starting until July.


HMCA senior manager for PR, sponsorship and events Guido Schenken would not be drawn into revealing a timeframe for Australia but did confirm the changes were under evaluation.


“With regards to our market, the Kona Electric changes are currently under study for inclusion in a future product lifecycle update,” he said.


Save for the underbody revisions and new tyres, everything else about the Kona Electric is tipped to stay the same, meaning there will still be 150kW of power and 395Nm of torque on tap courtesy of a 64kWh battery, with drive being sent to the front wheels via a single-speed reduction gear transmission.


The 0-100km/h sprint for the Australian spec cars currently sits at 7.6 seconds, though it remains to be seen what impact the new tyres will have on that figure.


The Kona Electric is currently priced from $60,140 plus on-road costs for the Elite model in Australia with the pricetag rising to $64,640 for the Highlander – it isn’t yet known if the changes will drive that figure up should they be introduced locally.


So far this year ending February, Hyundai has sold 1939 Konas nationally, accounting for 12 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small SUV segment and marking a 26.6 per cent sales increase compared to the same period last year.

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