Kona is Hyundai's funky new compact SUV


"To integrate the optional four-wheel drive system, Hyundai Motor engineers created a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space".

The South Korean automaker said it would also launch an electric version of the sporty-looking Kona next year and a smaller SUV and a large SUV by 2020.

When the Kona goes on sale in the USA next year it will join one of the fastest-growing and crucial segments in the industry.

Currently, Ssangyong dominates the domestic market for subcompact SUVs with an estimated share of 67 percent, followed by Renault Samsung with 20 percent and GM Korea with 13 percent.

This Kona is not a smaller Tucson or Santa Fe - it's on a new platform, one that will underpin future models - nor does it resemble either of those models.

No auto company worth its salt can afford not to have a compact SUV - and that probably explains why right now there is more new vehicle release action in this segment than in any other.

The five new SUVs include an all-electric Kona, a fuel cell auto, a SUV larger than the Santa Fe and two smaller-sized crossovers, the company said.

Now, Hyundai is poised to move back into the segment with a new model called Kona.

Hyundai's pitching the Kona in the buzzy, youthfully styled niche that already counts the Toyota C-HR and the Nissan Juke.

And Hyundai is enticing youngsters in with the Hawaiian name - a coast on the western side of the idyllic, sunny island. But this new Hyundai SUV has big shoes to fill.

A 1.6-litre diesel will be added to the range shortly after launch while EVs may be added in the future.

Kona the vehicle might well consider itself adventurous, with a bold exterior design. Up front, the Kona SUV comes with Hyundai's signature cascading grille design with chrome surrounds and a sleek air intake above for increased air inflow.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is going to go on sale later this month in South Korea, before it arrives in the USA and Europe.

Hyundai said it is also planning to release fuel cell electric SUV next year as well, just in time for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Korea.

The might be powered by a 1.6-litre petrol producing 121bhp and a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 126bhp. A six-speed manual will only be available in Europe, and will come with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that Hyundai lists as having a power output of 120PS. Exports to Europe will start in August and the United States in December.

Look at it again, what superhero does the armoured Hyundai Kona most resemble? Front-drive models will get a torsion-beam rear axle; all-wheel-drive models have a multilink rear suspension. Unusual for the class, a reflector head-up display (along the lines of the Mazda system with a clear panel on the dash) with good day and night visibility also will be offered.

The Kona 4WD also gets a more advanced multi-link rear suspension that promises better control and comfort over bumps.