Hyundai’s rival to funky subcompact SUVs like the Nissan Juke, Toyota C-HR and upcoming Ford Ecosport, the 2018 Kona, has been revealed ahead of its market launch later this year.
The name comes from a popular tourist spot in Hawaii and is meant to signify the fun, adventurous nature of the vehicle.
The Kona features a mean-looking mug integrating Hyundai’s cascading grille design. The twin-element headlight design enhances the visual impact and consists of LEDs for both the daytime running lights at the top and main projectors below. The new look is intended for Hyundai’s next-generation SUV lineup, with the next recipient likely to be the new Santa Fe.
The Kona is based on a new platform, with sister firm Kia expected to use the design for its own subcompact SUV to be called the Stonic.
With the Kona, Hyundai will offer a range of small-displacement inline-4s, in both gas and diesel flavors. American-spec Konas will likely adopt a base 2.0-liter inline-4 with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission here will be a 6-speed automatic. Hyundai estimates 0-60 mph acceleration of less than 10.0 seconds and a top speed of 121 mph.
Hyundai will eventually add an electric powertrain option. This is expected to be announced as early as 2018 and could offer more than 200 miles of range.
A formal debut of the 2018 Hyundai Kona is expected to take place at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show this September.