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Here is the Hyundai Kona Hybrid you’ve been waiting for

New Hyundai Kona Hybrid revealed

‘Will there be a Hyundai Kona hybrid?’ and ‘Does the Hyundai Kona come in a hybrid?’ are two popular questions on Google right now.

It didn’t, but it does now, with Hyundai releasing details of the all-new Kona Hybrid.

Hyundai’s first sub-compact SUV arrived in 2017, with the Kona Electric debuting a year later. Nearly 120,000 have been sold in Europe, with buyers seemingly won over by the fact that the Kona was developed as an SUV from the ground up, rather than sharing its underpinnings with a hatchback.

66mpg and 99g/km CO2

Hyundai Kona Hybrid powertrain

The Kona Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 105hp and 108lb ft of torque. It’s joined by a 43.5hp electric motor to deliver a combined output of 141hp and 195lb ft of torque.

Power is fed to the front wheels via a six-speed dual clutch transmission, with the Kona Hybrid hitting 62mph in 11.2 seconds on 16-inch wheels or 11.6 seconds on 18-inch rims. Top speed is 99mph, regardless of wheel size.

Hyundai is targeting CO2 emissions of 99g/km and fuel economy of 66mpg, but we’ll know precise figures closer to the Kona Hybrid’s launch in August.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid interior

As standard, the Hyundai Kona Hybrid will come with a 7-inch display, but a 10.25-inch split-touchscreen will be an option. All models will feature Apple Carplay and Android Auto, with a wireless charging pad available as an upgrade.

The eye-catching launch colour of Blue Lagoon (as seen here), will be joined by seven other exterior hues, with the Hybrid offered with a choice two wheel designs, both of which are unique to the car.

Hyundai’s SmartSense safety pack is standard and includes front collision warning and avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection. Adaptive cruise control is an option.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid specs

Cars fitted with the 10.25-inch display will feature an Eco-Driving Assist System designed to improve fuel economy. It analyses road information from the navigation system to notify the driver when deceleration is imminent.

Hyundai says that the system reduces fuel consumption and minimises brake usage. A Predictive Energy Management system manages charging and discharging of the battery to maximise the battery usage.

We’ll bring you more information on the Hyundai Kona Hybrid, along with driving impressions, in the summer.

Hyundai has built an electric double-decker bus

Hyundai electric bus

If you’re fed up with seeing near-empty buses chuntering through town, smoke billowing from their exhausts, Hyundai has the answer.

The company has unveiled an all-electric double-decker bus, so you can look forward to seeing near-empty buses chuntering through town, only without the associated smoke and pollution.

The leccy bus can seat up to 70 passengers, with 11 seats on the first floor and 59 on the second. But before you head upstairs for a swift fag, smoking has been banned on buses since 2007. The days of lighting up in the back of a Leyland National are long gone.

On the electric buses

Hyundai all-electric busHyundai’s electric bus is a thoroughly modern affair, featuring two fixed-in-space wheelchairs and an automatic sliding ramp and low floor design for disabled and mobility-impaired passengers.

At 12,990mm long and 3,995mm high, it’s somewhat larger than the company’s usual SUV crossover fare. But unlike most seven-seat SUVs, the seats at the back don’t require the skills of a contortionist to get to.

Independent suspension for the first driving axle should result in a more comfortable ride, although after too many journeys in airport transfer buses, we still wouldn’t recommend sitting close to the rear wheels.

A 384kWh water-cooled polymer battery provides a maximum driving range of 300km (186 miles), with a full charge completed in 72 minutes.

Optimised for eco-friendly trends

Hyundai electric double-decker bus

Other features include rear-wheel steering, forward collision-avoidance, lane-keeping assist, vehicle dynamic control and a driver who’d prefer the exact fare, please.

“The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimised for global eco-friendly trends,” said ByoungWoo Hwang, head of commercial vehicle advanced engineering team at Hyundai Motor.

“This will not only ultimately improve the air quality, but also contribute greatly to easing commuting-hour traffic congestion by accommodating more passengers.”

The Hyundai electric bus will be arriving at a bus stop near you soon, although don’t be surprised if three turn up at the same time.

Hyundai reveals its cockpit of the future

Hyundai cockpit future

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. This is a short story of Hyundai’s vision for the cockpit of the future – the view you’re likely to see when you’re sat behind the wheel of its next-generation cars.

“We are continuously working on new technologies that make our cars perfectly intuitive and user-friendly,” says Regina Kaiser, the human interface senior engineer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre. To this end, Hyundai has been focusing on reducing the number of buttons and creating a clean interface.

The most visible development is the creation of two touch panels on the steering wheel, which is sure to ruffle the feathers of those who believe in-car touchscreens are the work of the devil. The buttons can be adapted to the individual wishes of the driver, with the screens featuring two actuator modules beneath the surface to allow “for a stronger and more consistent haptic feedback,” claims Hyundai.

Hyundai future steering wheel

Meanwhile, the instrument cluster is a multi-layer display comprising two displays which are stacked behind each other at a distance of 6mm. This creates visual 3D effects: one part of the graphic is shown on the front display and the other part on the rear display.

According to Hyundai, this effect is used to guide the user’s attention with less distraction. The most important information, such as the speed limit, is shown at the front of the display.

The info shown on the steering wheel displays changes according to the information on the instrument cluster and also depending on the driving situation. The driver can also change the layout and create ‘shortcuts’ for entering specific applications. Customisation is important as it offers drivers maximum freedom, says Hyundai.

“We are doing research on the learnability, intuition and potential driver distraction of the virtual cockpit,” says Regina Kaiser.

Hyundai’s ‘virtual cockpit’ is still in the early prototype phase of development, but the Audi-style tech will be appearing in a new Hyundai soon. In the meantime, these images show how the technology could be integrated into a current i30.

Hyundai turns your smartphone into a car key

Hyundai smartphone digital key

The traditional car key’s days could be numbered, thanks to technology developed by Hyundai. The ‘Digital Key’ app will allow Kia and Hyundai owners to unlock and start their vehicles via their smartphone – and the tech could arrive by the end of the year.

Replacing the physical key, the app can be used by up to four authorised people and could save motorists hours of searching for lost car keys.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology detects the presence of a Digital Key-enabled smartphone in close proximity to the car door, with NFC antennas located in the driver and passenger door handles, along with another one in the wireless charging pad.

The engine is started by the driver placing the smartphone on the wireless charging pad and pressing a Start/Stop button on the dashboard.

The driver’s preferred settings are stored in the car. When the key is recognised those settings are adjusted automatically – including the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, as well as controls for the media and sat-nav systems.

According to Hyundai, once car sharing becomes more widespread, the Digital Key will be developed to support vehicle rental where the owner and the driver won’t have to meet but can transfer the Digital Key via the smartphone app.

Traditional smart keys and cards will also be provided for use at valet services and when the car is at a dealer for a service.

Harnessing connected-car technology

“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Kia and Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said Ho Yoo, group leader of Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronics Development Group.

“We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience.”

Hyundai Motor Group aims to gradually implement the technology in new Kia and Hyundai vehicles, with the rollout starting later this year.

Hydrogen Hyundai

This Hyundai SUV actually cleans the air in London

Hydrogen Hyundai

Hyundai’s next-generation hydrogen electric car, the Nexo, has been driving along the most polluted streets in London – and purifying the air as it goes.

Hyundai teamed up with University College London (UCL) to map a route of the most polluted roads in the capital, including streets in Elephant & Castle, Kings Cross and Westminster (as we reported yesterday, Google is also in the process of mapping London air quality).

While the car itself only emits water and heat, it also has an air purification system that can filter 99.9 percent of fine dust and particulates in the air. Over the course of an hour, the Nexo can filter as much as 26.9 kilograms of air – enough, says Hyundai, to keep up to 42 adults breathing for an hour.

If 10,000 of these cars were on the road, it would have a similar carbon reduction effect to planting 60,000 trees. Big claims that for once, get some in-action proof. A demonstration was set up outside UCL, putting the filtration system to work live.

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“We are all concerned about air quality and what affects it”, says Sylvie Childs, Hyundai’s Senior Product Manager for Nexo.

“At Hyundai, we are committed to improving the efficiency and environmental performance of all our vehicles and have been investing billions in bringing a full range of low and zero emission vehicles to the marketplace. We believe that the availability of alternatives, like the Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle, will bring the UK closer to its zero-emissions future.

“However, the responsibility for this cannot only rest with us, the manufacturer. We need the government to invest equally in incentives and infrastructure that would enable Brits to have better choices when it comes to the car they drive and how it can fit into their lives.”

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Hyundai i30 'N Option'

Hyundai i30 N gets more attitude with ’N Option’ accessories

Hyundai i30 'N Option'

After the critical acclaim for the Hyundai i30 N since launch, what the marque does next with its burgeoning ‘N’ performance line is crucial. We’ve already got a fastback version of the i30 and now, as of the Paris Motor Show, there’s a new N Option performance parts catalogue.

The Hyundai N Option goodie bin contains a carbon rear wing, a vented carbon fibre bonnet, a quad exhaust setup and cast lightweight wheels with semi-slick tyres. You can even drape your car in ’N Option’ matt paint.

Inside, it’s black carbon and Alcantara all-round. The latter swathes the lightweight bucket seats and steering wheel, while the former is on the dashboard, bottom of the steering wheel and around the vents and door handles.

Overall, the N Option parts bin contains around 25 interior and exterior indivi dualisation options. A set of lighter alloys with sticky tyres certainly appeals, as does an Alcantara wheel, although some of the more aggressive body stuff is a bit much. Spec your Hyundai i30 N tastefully. 

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Hyundai i30 N

You can drive the Hyundai i30 N on track… for free

Hyundai i30 N

You don’t need an excuse to buy a Hyundai i30 N, but just in case you were teetering on the edge of buying one of its competitors, maybe a free track day will convince you that Korean is the way to go.

Hyundai’s ‘Nth Degree Experience’ gives consumers the chance to get behind the wheel of the i30 N at the Millbrook Proving Ground, where they can take to the ‘High-Speed Bowl’ or the ‘Mile Straight’. Four different drives will showcase the hot Hyundai’s performance, technology, control and handling.

Hyundai will be monitoring the drivers’ performance and awarding them points throughout the day, with the person at the top of the leaderboard at the end of each session winning a Hyundai Motorsport WRC Co-Drive experience. The lucky winners will be driven by one of Hyundai’s rally drivers on an actual stage used during this year’s Wales Rally GB.

And, if that’s not enough, the overall winner will experience a full weekend at Wales Rally GB in October, which will include meals and overnight accommodation.

Nth Degree Hub

Nth Degree

Off track, participants will have access to the ‘Nth Degree Hub’, where guests can take part in interactive challenges and be given the opportunity to share their verdict on the i30 N.

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK’s president and CEO, commented: “i30 N is the first vehicle from Hyundai’s new performance N range and it has been engineered to deliver maximum driving pleasure.

“We’ve designed the Nth Degree Experience to give consumers the opportunity to, not only experience our new hot hatch, but to really put it through its paces. Each exclusive session promises to be fun and competitive, with guests getting the chance to perfect their driving skills on some of Millbrook’s most challenging routes that aren’t normally open to members of the public.”

The event is free-of-charge and will take place on 11, 12, 18 and 19 August at Millbrook, Bedfordshire. Consumers need to register at nthdegree.hyundai.co.uk.

Hyundai i30 N prices start from £25,010 for the standard 250hp car and £28,010 for the 275hp Performance edition, which also features an electronic diff, active exhaust, Pirelli P Zero tyres and uprated brakes.

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Hyundai and Chelsea

Hyundai is Chelsea FC’s new car partner

Hyundai and ChelseaHyundai has become the official global automotive partner of Chelsea Football Club, in a five-year deal that will see the firm’s logo feature on the sleeves of the team shirt in all domestic competitions. 

It’s Hyundai’s first foray into UK football, after being the official World Cup automotive partner since 1999. 

We won’t just see the Hyundai logo on the shirt sleeves, either. It will feature prominently on Stamford Bridge’s matchday LED perimeter signs, car displays at the club and umpteen other types of media and digital content. 

Chelsea players Olivier Giroud, David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko helped announce the deal and to reinforce the message, Hyundai’s giving away four pairs of tickets to Chelsea’s first home Premier League game of the 2018/19 season. 

What do you have to do? Keep an eye out for any @hyundai_uk tweet with the hashtag #ForTheFans between 11-17 June, and retweet it. That’s it. 

We’ll see the Hyundai logo on the team shirts for the first time on July 23rd, when Chelsea play a friendly in Australia against Perth Glory. Over the next five years, adds Hyundai, it’s going to work with Chelsea to “develop a range of initiatives and benefits for the club’s supporters, as part of its ambition to bring ease to mobility and make football more accessible to fans”. 

What we want to know is, when’s the fleet of (sort of) Chelsea-blue i30 N hot hatches being delivered to the players?

Hyundai Veloster N

N for No: why the Hyundai Veloster N isn’t coming to the UK

Hyundai Veloster N

The Hyundai Veloster N is proof that we can’t have nice things. Because while the good folk at the Detroit Auto Show are salivating over this 275hp coupe, we’ve been denied custody of the i30 N’s slightly more rebellious sibling, without so much as a promise of weekend access.

Why? Because we’re too busy littering the streets with crossovers, while three-door cars are falling out of favour. Sure, the Veloster is technically a four-door coupe – with two doors on one side and one on the other – but the point remains.

Other reasons? Well, the Hyundai Veloster was a monumental flop in the UK. At the last count, fewer than 2,700 of these hatchback-cum-coupes are on the streets of Britain. Hyundai pulled the plug in 2015, after just three years of slower than expected sales.

Video: Hyundai Veloster N in Forza Motorsport 7

Looking back, it’s not hard to see why the Veloster failed so miserably here. Five years ago, Hyundai showrooms were desolate wastelands, devoid of cheeriness and inspiration. The Veloster would have stood out like Keira Knightley at a convention of John Major lookalikes.

The Veloster was caught between a rock and a hard place. To the loyal Hyundai owner – for whom excitement centred on a nine-letter word on Countdown and finding a tin of travel sweets in the glovebox – it was too exciting. To non-Hyundai people, it just wasn’t compelling enough.

Mk1 Hyundai Veloster

Sure, it looked cool, in a Korean Scirocco kind of way, but it didn’t have the dynamic ability to live up to its track-ready styling. Hyundai tried desperately hard to add some flair, but vibrant hues such as solid Sunflower yellow, pearlescent Vitamin C and Green Apple were wasted in the land of Werther’s Originals.

The performance was merely adequate – even in the more interesting Veloster Turbo – with a 0-62mph time quoted at 8.4 seconds. The fact is, the Veloster looked faster than it actually went, which satisfied neither the Hyundai loyalists nor the sceptics.

Maybe it was the right car at the wrong time. Today, the Hyundai range feels like so much more than a line-up of white goods supported by a five-year warranty. Almost every model offers a modicum of flair and panache, while the i30 N hints at an enthralling future for the N sub-brand.

No, you’re never gonna get it. Not this time

Which makes the decision not to introduce the Veloster N in Britain all the more galling. Hyundai will point to the similarities between the i30 N and the Veloster as the reason behind the move, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Just imagine seeing one of these drenched in Performance Blue paint on your morning commute. 

Hyundai Veloster N not for UK

If Hyundai is serious about its N sub-brand, wouldn’t a stablemate for the i30 N make a great deal of sense? Granted, Hyundai Europe would have analysed the business case before scribbling an ‘N’ for ‘No’, but the desire to see the Veloster N in the UK is driven by an emotional rather than a rational perspective.

It looks even more hardcore than its five-door sibling, especially at the back. And with 275hp on tap, the Veloster can finally live up to its velocity-inspired name. Sadly, we won’t be offered the chance to play.

Unless that is, you happen to own a copy of Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One and Windows 10. The Veloster N and Turbo car pack has arrived as part of the January update, and our man Bradley has been having a go. Even better than the real thing, Bradley?

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Hyundai i30 UK review

Hyundai i30 UK review: dull just got interesting

Playing Golf: we head to Cornwall for the first UK drive of the all-new Hyundai i30 – can it compete in the crowded hatchback sector?