Hyundai has taken an unusual route with the Kona subcompact crossover, launching the fully-electric version ahead of the hybrid.
The time has come for Hyundai to drop the Kona Hybrid as an alternative for the ICE-powered Kona and the Kona Electric. The model packs a similar hybrid powertrain as the one recently introduced on the Ioniq Hybrid. A 105 PS (103 hp) Kappa 1.6-liter GDI direct-injection gasoline four-cylinder engine works with a 32 kW (43.5 PS/42 hp) electric motor and a smaller 1.56 kWh lithium-ion battery (the Ioniq Hybrid has an 8.9 kWh battery).
The permanent magnet electric motor alone produces a maximum torque of 170 Nm (125 lb-ft) of torque, contributing to a total of 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) of system torque and a total output of 141 PS (139 hp).
Hyundai says the lithium-ion polymer battery delivers “outstanding charge and discharge performance, optimizing output from the high voltage battery and allowing for rapid regeneration.” A six-speed dual clutch transmission with Sport mode is also part of the package.
Besides the new powertrain, the Kona Hybrid marks the introduction of several technological enhancements. Those include the Blue Link connected vehicle system which allows users to remote lock or unlock the car via a smartphone app, and the optional Audio Video Navigation system (AVN) with a 10.25-inch split touch-screen.
The AVN multimedia system features Cloud-based voice recognition in six languages and a customizable screen. An optional wireless inductive charging pad (Qi standard) for mobile phones is also offered. As for the standard 7-inch Display Audio interface, it comes with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Safety-wise, the Kona Hybrid offers the upgraded Hyundai SmartSense technology package which comes as standard with Front Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection ability, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and High Beam Assist. Optional tech includes the Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go, Lane Following Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning.
You’ll recognize the Kona Hybrid from other Kona models thanks to subtle styling tweaks such as its own dedicated interior color pack, the Blue Lagoon exterior launch color, as well as two exclusive alloy wheel designs available in 16 and 18 inches, respectively.
The Hyundai Kona Hybrid will be available in Europe from August 2019.