Design and technology updates for 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

HYUNDAI has made a series of updates to its successful electric small SUV for 2021, with the Kona Electric gaining improvements to its design, technology, and practicality. Changes include a cleaner, sleeker exterior design.

The new look Kona Electric gains a more modern grille, with LED Daytime Running Lights, and an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric, which makes a strong statement about driving electric.

New, sharper headlamps stretch around the side of the car. The high-tech headlamp inner bezel now incorporates multifaceted reflector (MFR) technology. The headlamps are also connected to the painted wheel arch claddings, giving it a distinctive, sophisticated look.

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The rear bumper retains the accent bars to add value to the overall look of the car, while new horizontally-stretched rear lamps complement the pure appearance of the front.

Like the new Kona with internal-combustion powertrains, the new EV offering is 40mm longer than the previous version. This ensures it has a dynamic appearance combined with a strong visual stance.

Like its predecessor, it still offers a zero-emissions battery electric powertrain, with no compromises on performance, retaining its 64kWh battery and electric motor, which delivers maximum power of 150kW.

The maximum speed of 167km/h remains, as does the 395Nm of immediate torque, ensuring the new Kona Electric is still fun-to-drive, with full power available from the first second.

Since its launch in 2018, the Kona Electric has been equipped with one of the best all-electric driving ranges in its segment. With tyre improvements, the Kona Electric offers a class-leading range of 484km (WLTP) on a single charge.

The smart adjustable regenerative braking system allows the new Kona Electric to automatically set the regenerative braking level, while paddle shifts behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking.

The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery from 10 to 80 per cent only takes about 47 minutes using a 100kW direct current (DC) fast charger.

The Kona Electric features an optional 10.5 kW three-phase on-board charger, allowing for significantly shorter charging times using public three-phase AC charging stations or with a private compatible wall box at home.

Drivers also have the option of charging their car at a compatible regular household power socket using the ICCB-cable (in-cable control box).

For the first time, the Kona Electric is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital cluster, while the 10.25-inch multimedia screen is carried over from the last update. New ambient light technology illuminates the passenger and driver side footwell too.

For 2021, the new model also features a state-of-the-art Hyundai safety package, with SmartSense providing comprehensive, best-in-class active safety and driving assistance systems, with the new Kona Electric now equipped with more functions than before.

The upgraded safety suite includes rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist and blind-spot collision avoidance assist, which offer not just warnings to drivers, but also engages the brakes where necessary.

A number of convenience features allow for a more comfortable ride, in particular for back seat passengers. As with its predecessor, the new Kona Electric’s second row heated seats allow rear passengers to relax when travelling on longer journeys.

The new second row USB port delivers additional power to recharge devices on-board if needed. The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric is set to arrive locally in the first half of next year. Pricing and a final launch date are yet to be advised.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric
2021 Hyundai Kona Electric interior (overseas model shown)
Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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