Economy, Auto

Hyundai Unveils New Kona Crossover

The Kona crossover will likely compete against the Renault Captur and Nissan’s Juke modelThe Kona crossover will likely compete against the Renault Captur and Nissan’s Juke model

Hyundai has unveiled the Kona in Goyang, South Korea on Tuesday, lauding the car’s “high-tech” styling as a key selling characteristic as the brand enters the booming subcompact SUV/crossover segment later than its main rivals.

The Korean firm hopes to woo customers away from vehicles such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur with what it calls a “striking design,” as well as advanced technological features for the segment such as head-up display, Automotive News reported.

The Kona will be part of an SUV/crossover product offensive from the brand with Hyundai launching a smaller SUV by 2020 and a larger model, bigger than the midsize Sante Fe, Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Eui-sun Chung told reporters at the unveiling event.

The Kona will go on sale in Korea later this month with a starting price of 18.95 million won ($16,800). It will arrive in dealerships in Europe in October and in the US early next year.

Sales targets for a full year are 45,000 units in Korea and 150,000 for export markets, the company said.

The Kona will have a wide range of active safety features including a collision avoidance system which uses the car’s front-facing camera and radar to detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously.

Meanwhile, calls to two of the Iranian distributors of the Hyundai brand in Iran, Kerman Motors and Assan Motors, failed to draw response on whether the firms intend to import the new model to Iran.

The Kona’s European engine lineup will comprise two turbocharged gasoline engines - 1.0-liter and 1.6-liter units. The 1.6-liter gasoline version will be available with four-wheel-drive. Next summer, a new-generation 1.6-liter diesel version, also with a four-wheel-drive option, will be added.

 EV Version

A full-electric version will also be launched globally next year with a projected range of 390 km (242 miles) on a full charge.

The Kona is named after the lava-lined coastal district of Hawaii’s Big Island in keeping with Hyundai’s SUV nomenclature that is based on travel destinations. The Kona’s public debut is likely to be at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

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