With the Fiat Tipo, available for less than 13,000 euros when it was released, the Hyundai Kona is, in my opinion, one of the best thermal models released in the last ten years. Arriving in France, for its first European market, the model blew me away. Complete, it carried a 120 hp gasoline unit with surprising efficiency and flexibility. The icing on the cake, a new, very balanced first-generation chassis, enjoyable dynamism and exceptional soundproofing.
We are talking about a time that those under 20 cannot know. Finally Yes. I’m only 22. But for me as for them, this time of the thermal automobile with a manual gearbox is already taking on the appearance of the Old World. Everything happened in a snap of the fingers. Hyundai can confirm it: after nearly three years of marketing, its Kona quietly arrived in electric in 2018. Nothing had been thought of, at the start, for the model to take the lead in the thermal range. A milestone yet reached in France in 2020 when Hyundai’s flagship model reached the volume of diesel sales in June.
Since then, the Kona’s career has continued without problems and the electric model even became the third most registered in France behind the Renault Zoé and Peugeot e-208. In November 2022, it was doing even better than Volkswagen and its ID3. Very strong for an Asian brand that was able to enter the market at a time when the aging i20 and i30 were nevertheless all of Hyundai’s strategy ten years ago. The Ioniq, the Tucson, the hybrid and gasoline were also other important levers for the brand that could have diverted it from its focus on Kona.
From the most interesting thermal car on the market, to a trendy electric version, Hyundai took advantage of the inertia of Kona sales to develop a new 100% electric model: la Ioniq 5. The compact crossover released last year and currently being tested on lemon squeezer (not in a hurry, the lemon), and has just been joined by a new Ioniq 6, resuming the look of a sedan. But then, what to do with Kona? The name that made people laugh when it debuted on the French market is not expected to be abandoned any time soon. Here is a first glimpse of the lines of the future generation.
The future Hyundai Kona
Unlike the first generation, all of the elements on board the future Hyundai Kona were initially designed for 100% electric. But that does not mean that other engines are not planned (even though…). It will be a little longer (by 15 centimeters) and a little wider (2.5 centimeters) than its predecessor. All this benefits the wheelbase. Its marketing is not planned for now. The first copies will arrive in 2024.
The style is much more futuristic than the previous one and Hyundai has just added the Kona in the Ioniq family, though it doesn’t share the name (for a Kona name popularity story, again). The best of all worlds, while the design invested in the Ioniq 5 has something to please internationally, in Europe as well as in the United States and Asia. On board, the style is more classic (even if very bright and chic) and puts the Kona back in its target: a price range between 36 and 42,000 euros (electric).
Other details should reach us on the car in the coming months. But it was important to remember this brief story on the course of the Kona, born in thermal, and witness as well as actor of the energy transition.