New Hyundai Kona Electric (facelift): What to Expect

Following the Hyundai Kona facelift this year, Hyundai Motor Group is likely to launch the new Hyundai Kona Electric facelift in 2021. Our exclusive rendering accompanying this story details what one can expect from the new electric SUV that will be launched in India as well.

Exterior

The 2021 Hyundai Kona EV will retain its ‘Composite Light’ split headlamp layout. Spy media hint that the main lamps (placed on the bumper) have embraced a triangular enclosure and house a concentric light structure. The vertical air ‘inlets’ in the revised bumper are new, slanted inward, in the direction of the main lights. Fresh ‘X’ mark graphics are applied on the closed grille which conceals the charging port. For the profile, we imagine new 17-inch alloy wheels (in the closed design) and blue side moulding strips for a refreshing look.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift 2021 Hyundai Kauai EV 코나 일렉트릭
The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift will have a very familiar design. A full-blown adaptation of Hyundai’s new Sensuous Sportiness theme is unlikely for its electric SUV.

Minchul Koo, VP of Design, Hyundai, spoke with us about the new Hyundai Kona Electric facelift at Auto Expo 2020 and indicated that it wouldn’t be a nip and tuck job on the Hyundai Kona Electric as part of its mid-cycle update. Below is what he said when asked about the new Kona:

As you saw with the new Creta, there was a lot of changes (to the design) right? Our job is to always challenge something. At the moment customers are happy or satisfied (with the car’s design), but we’re not going to be happy! We are pursuing new challenges and adventures. With the (new) Kona you will find that everything is a surprise. In the first generation the Kona shocked and surprised the market with its unique design and we will just continue this kind of spirit.

Minchul Koo, VP of Design at Hyundai Motor Company

Interior

The interior changes should be minimal, mostly focused on enhancing the electronics such as the 7-inch digital instrument cluster and the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation (seen in the video below). Addition of Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto support should make connecting smartphone easier.

In India, the Hyundai Kona Electric comes in a single trim that does not pack the bigger infotainment system. Another letdown is that the 8-inch unit doesn’t feature satellite navigation. The same system is available with navigation in other markets. Perhaps the most prominent interior change will be the adoption of the bigger infotainment system, which includes navigation as standard.

Another upgrade just for India with the mid-cycle refresh could be the availability of a colour head-up display, a feature already available in the electric SUV internationally. Lastly, a micro air filter with a new air clean mode, and increased backseat support that rolled out on the South Korea spec in January may also be included in the improved Kona.

Specifications

Hyundai’s big announcement next year is the Hyundai 45-based electric car (Hyundai NE) with capabilities like 450+ km range and 20-minute fast-charging to 80% capacity. For the Kona EV though, technical changes could be limited. There’s no word on the differences to the motors and battery packs of the Hyundai Kona Electric yet. Currently, two versions are manufactured: standard-range and long-range, and only the former is available in our market. Take a detailed look at the differences below:

ParametersStandard-range SpecificationLong-range Specification
Motor Power100 kW (136 PS)150 kW (204 PS)
Motor Torque395 Nm395 Nm
Battery Capacity39.2 kWh64 kWh
Battery Power104 kW170 kW
Battery Voltage327 V356 V
Range452 km (India)/254 km (S. Korea)/305 km (Europe)406 km (S. Korea)/484 km (Europe)
0-100% Normal Charging Time – 1-phase 7.2 kW Charger (AC)6 hour 10 minutes9 hour 35 minutes
0-100% Normal Charging Time – 3-phase 10.5 kW Charger (AC)4 hour 50 minutes7 hour 25 minutes
0-80% Fast Charging Time – 50 kW Charger (DC)57 minutes75 minutes
0-80% Fast Charging Time – 100 kW Charger (DC)54 minutes54 minutes
0-100 km/h Acceleration Time9.7 seconds7.6 seconds
Top Speed155 km/h167 km/h

A 10.5 kW three-phase on-board charger for improved charging times, low rolling resistance tyres and a tweaked underbody were introduced in the Hyundai Kona Electric in Europe this year for longer range. The new Hyundai Kona Electric in India could borrow some of the updates.

Release date

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric could be unveiled early next year and go on sale in first markets like South Korea soon after. India may have to wait until the second half of the year for the launch of the new model.

Price

While the worsening exchange rate makes imports more expensive, the strong push for localisation from the government is providing hope for more affordable global EVs. Perhaps the 2021 Hyundai Kona EV will have slightly more localised content to absorb the costs of the various upgrades and any possible negativities from the exchange rate. Note that Hyundai has started localising a few components of the car in India, such as interior parts and plastic parts.

The current Hyundai Kona Electric costs INR 23,75,900* if purchased in a single-tone colour and INR 23,94,649* if purchased in a dual-tone colour (Ex-showroom Delhi).

‘mini’ Hyundai Kona for India

While globally Hyundai has several EV product programs that include the E-GMP based vehicles and facelifts, for India the company has confirmed a brand new electric car by end of 2022. The ‘mini’ Kona under the ‘Smart EV’ project that aims for EVs to break into developing markets would sport a crossover-SUV design and launch for a price of under Rs. 1 million.

7 Top changes expected on the 2021 Hyundai Kona

  • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (in markets where the smaller screen is in use)
  • Heated rear seat
  • Micro air filter
  • Improved tyres for better range wrapped around new alloy wheels
  • Underbody redesign for smoother air flow
  • ‘Emotional’ front and rear fascias retaining the signature ‘composite lamp’ arrangement and body armour.
  • Soft changes to the interior trim
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