[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor said on April 3 it has named its upcoming subcompact SUV “Kona” ahead of its official debut in June.
The new car, previously identified with codename OS, Hyundai’s first-ever subcompact SUV in the local market, is expected to further heat up competition in the segment.
The name comes from a district in Hawaii that is famous for quality coffee beans. The Korean auto giant has used names of cities around the world for its SUV models, including the Santa Fe, Tucson and Veracruz.
“We focused on soft and trendy, as well as progressive and dynamic images that come from the name Kona, a district famous for coffee and marine sports,” the automaker said. “The name fits the concept of Hyundai’s first subcompact SUV, equipped with innovative style and practicality.”
A teaser image has been unveiled that shows off slim headlights with LED lighting.
The automaker hasn’t revealed specifications or final styling of the car. But according to media reports, the Kona will come in three engines models -- 1.4-liter gasoline turbo, 1.4-liter diesel and 1.6-liter diesel. An electric version is also under development.
Kona is based on the i30 platform, with the design derived from Intrado concept car unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in 2014.
Sources say the automaker will release the car in June. When it arrives in the summer, it will be the smallest SUV in Hyundai’s lineup, below the Tucson and Santa Fe.
The new entry will face fierce competition in the small SUV segment currently led by SsangYong Motor’s Tivoli, followed by Kia’s Niro and Renault Samsung’s QM3. Last year, 107,000 units of compact SUVs were sold in the local market, up from 12,000 units in 2013. Last year, the top seller Tivoli sold 28,886 units.
Industry watchers expect the compact SUV market to expand to 120,000 units in 2022.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)