Hyundai first revealed its new Kona compact SUV in Geneva last month. The Kona will be available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or a fully electric vehicle. In Geneva, the company said the electric SUV would come with two battery sizes — a smaller one for customers who don’t need a longer range and want to drive electric for less money and a larger version with a longer range that sells for more money.
Hyundai brought the long range version of its electric SUV to the New York International Auto Show this week. It will be the only version of the car offered to US customers. Featuring a 64 kWh battery, it’s estimated it will have over 250 miles of range on a single charge. (Update: A spokesperson for Hyundai tells CleanTechnica this vehicle has not yet been rated by the EPA, so any figures we see out there are just estimates.) Unlike the Bolt, which is a mixture of a 5-door hatchback and a crossover utility vehicle, the Kona is a true compact SUV. CleanTechnica senior editor Kyle Field says, “The Kona Electric doesn’t just hit the sweet spot in the market, it is the sweet spot!”
A spokesperson for Hyundai told the press in New York that the Kona Electric is “tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range.” According to USA Today, the car features a clean front end treatment reminiscent of current Tesla products. Its battery weighs less than 1,000 pounds and can be recharged in 54 minutes using fast-charging equipment. It features a 201 horsepower electric motor with 291 lb-ft of torque. The upcoming Nissan IMx electric SUV is perhaps the most similar model coming soon. It will offer all-wheel drive but won’t be available until at least 2020.
The Kona Electric will be available first in California before becoming available in other states that adhere to the emissions procedures prescribed by the California Air Resources Board. A Hyundai press release reports that the car comes with the full complement of safety features offered by the Hyundai Smart Sense package, which includes pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic collision avoidance, blind spot warning, and lane keeping assist. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built into the infotainment system. Wireless charging from WiTricity is available as an option.
Pricing details have not yet been announced, but Hyundai has always been skillful at pricing its vehicles competitively.
Hyundai Genesis Electric Hypercar Concept
Hyundai also brought its Genesis electric sports car concept called Essentia to the floor of the New York auto show. Nothing about the car indicates it will ever reach production, but it definitely puts other manufacturers on notice that Hyundai is serious about electric cars. The most prominent feature of the carbon fiber all electric two-seater is a fully transparent bubble top reminiscent of the Batmobile.
Concept cars are meant to gauge the reaction of show attendees. What makes their eyes light up? What do they like? What do they hate? It’s not unusual for some parts of the concept to translate into production cars in the future. For instance, the electronic dashboard from the show car could show up in a Genesis sedan some day.
The hyper Hyundai will offer hyper performance at hyper prices for hyperactive drivers. The Verge says it will have sub-3 second 0-60 times if and when it ever gets built. The first thing Tesla fanatics will say is that the second-generation Roadster will wipe the drag strip with the Essentia. But will it have a bubble top and butterfly doors? Choices are always a good thing, which is why they make Coke and Pepsi. Or Teslas and Hyundais, as the case may be.
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