The New Compact IONIQ 3 Electric SUV Is To Be The Size Of The Next Hyundai Kona But That's Not All.
Expected to arrive sometime in 2023, the next IONIQ EV will be smaller than the IONIQ 5. In fact, it's expected to have exactly the dimensions as the next generation Hyundai Kona. Here's the reason why!
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A (Cover Image by AutoBild)
Here’s a fun fact. Can you guess the most exported Hyundai model in the current lineup?
You would be surprised if we told you that it was none other than Kona, with close to 200,000 units exported out of Korea last year. Kona was an instant hit worldwide when it was first introduced in 2017, by offering good value, an ideal size as a daily commuter, a variety of engine options, and the unmistakable funky design that set the trend for detached headlamps, where what appears to be a headlamp isn’t a headlamp, but a day time running lamp, with the actual low beam and high beam lamps are positioned underneath to appear as fog or driving lamps.
Another profound twist of the story may be that there is speculation that the electric version of Kona would be folded into the IONIQ sub-brand...
However, due to the battery explosion fiasco of the Kona EV, as well as competitors such as Kia Niro and Seltos offering roomier interior space and versatility, Korean sales dwindled, contrary to achievements that the small crossover was making overseas, such as winning the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. To resolve the faltering image and sales issue in its domestic market, Hyundai is making drastic changes to the next generation Kona with an incredible twist. So, stay tuned for the exciting development that could see Kona being split into two different models.
The new Kona will be based on the all-new 2nd-generation Niro. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/wURGZEj9nSY)
If you can’t beat them, join them.
As the saying goes, that’s exactly what Hyundai is doing for the changes that it will make to the next Kona. Codenamed SX2, the all-new Kona will now be bigger than the outgoing model, to grow to the size of the all-new Kia Niro, which now measures 4,420 mm or 174 inches in length and 2,720 mm or 107 inches in wheelbase, a big increase in size from the current Kona that only measures 4,215 mm or 166 inches in length, and 2,600 mm or 102.4 inches in wheelbase.
And for Hyundai, this is quite simple to accomplish, as the new Kona will be sharing exactly the same chassis with the new Niro, which is in turn underpinned by the new 3rd generation platform that’s renowned for its versatility, safety, and performance-oriented attributes, and now forms the basis for most of the new Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis products including Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. In fact, in addition to increasing the market appeal of the new Kona, the increase in size is to fill the gap between the new Tucson, which has now grown to be as big as the midsize SUV Santa Fe. In keeping with the family lineage, the new Kona is expected to inherit some design elements of the new Tucson, which gained popularity for its unique fascia that features innovative parametric hidden lamps. The new Kona is to also adopt this design feature, as well as the sharp creases and body lines that will be prevalent throughout the new sheet metal.
As for the drivetrain, it appears that the new Kona will also adopt the Niro’s lineup of powerplants, which oddly have not been changed from the previous model. The new drivetrain includes a hybrid powerplant comprised of a 1.6-liter Smartstream gasoline engine, combined with an electric motor to arrive at the system total of 139 hp mated to 6-speed DCT, which is virtually unchanged from the previous version.
The powerplant of the new Niro HEV is virtually unchanged from the previous model. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
However, as revealed through the Swedish Kia Niro PHEV unveiling, there are some significant changes for the plug-in hybrid, which now boasts the total system output of 184 hp, up from the previous 139 hp, still utilizing the same 1.6-liter gasoline engine and the 6-speed DCT, but now with a more powerful electric motor. The change also comes with the increase in the size of the battery, which now measures 11.1 kWh from the previous 8.9. This change would enable the new plug-in hybrid to travel longer on EV mode, to 60 km or 37 miles, up 11 km from the previous model. This change is in response to the new mandate in some European countries, such as Germany that would grant government subsidies to plug-in hybrids, only if they exceed 50 km in the pure EV range.
The new Niro EV maintains the outstanding 201-hp FWD electric drivetrain from the outgoing model. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
The highly anticipated full EV version’s specs are also unveiled through Kia Sweden, and they are essentially the same 400-volt system as the outgoing version, with 201 hp motor driving the front wheel only, which is paired with the battery that’s slightly increased in size with 64.8 kWh, up from 64. Therefore, the range is essentially the same as well with a WLTP rating of 463 km, increased from 455 km previously. The charging time is slightly improved to about 43 minutes to charge 10 to 80%, which is about 10 minutes faster than before.
At this point, you might be wondering why the specifications are virtually unchanged for the new car. Niro is one of the bestselling eco-friendly cars in Europe, and its efficient and reliable powerplants were the key factors for its success. As such, Niro’s powerplants have been considered ahead of its time, making the change not quite necessary even when everything else is all-new, including the aforementioned platform and the new high-tech interior, that seemed to have been lifted straight out of the larger Sportage and EV6. As for the interior of the new Kona, the latest spy photos reveal the design theme, which is very similar to that of the IONIQ 5 dedicated EV, complete with the dual panoramic LCD screen, distinctive 2 spoke steering wheel, and the seats that appear to be a near duplicate of the larger electric sibling.
The Interior of the new Kona seems to have been lifted straight from the IONIQ 5 EV. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
And like the ultra-high-performance N version of the IONIQ 5, that’s expected to arrive with nearly 600 hp at the end of the year, with the estimated 0 to 60 mph time of low 3 seconds, we are excited to report that the N version of the Kona will also carry forward to the next version. The current Kona N was the first-ever SUV application of the N formulation as laid down by Albert Biermann before his retirement. The former BMW M-division boss was instrumental in creating the N performance sub-brand and its first product, the Veloster N, which gave birth to the Kona N by donating its potent 275 hp turbocharged 2-liter engine, raced-tuned suspension, and the fast-shifting 8-speed wet DCT, that made Veloster N the fastest front-wheel-drive car in the world, with the 0 to 60 time of 4.9 seconds.
For the next iteration of the Kona N, it will take an interesting turn, as the new compact high-performance SUV will be powered by an electric drivetrain and not an internal combustion engine. This comes as no surprise, as Hyundai has already announced that Kona N and the Elantra N will be the last ICE car to receive the N treatment.
The N tradition will continue with the next generation Kona as the new IONIQ 3 N. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
So, what can we expect in terms of the pure electric version of Kona? The next Kona EV, as is the case currently, was expected to also share the same power electric system as the Niro EV, however, another profound twist of the story may be that there is speculation that the electric version of Kona would be folded into the IONIQ sub-brand, and possibly take on the IONIQ 3 nameplate instead. At this point, we don’t know what this means, as it could be interpreted that the IONIQ series of EVs do not need to be dedicated electric cars, such as IONIQ 5 or EV6, or that despite having the ICE based chassis, the underpinning can be converted to the EGMP or now known as E-M dedicated platform. As mentioned previously, the latest N3 3rd generation platform is a versatile and highly modular system that can easily be converted from being ICE, hybrid, battery-electric, and even fuel cell electric. So, it’s not unfathomable that a hybrid of the N3 and E-M platforms can exist. A case in point is the current mid-cycle refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe, which has undergone a platform change from the previous 2nd generation platform to the 3rd generation, during the update to accommodate the hybrid and plug-in hybrid powerplants design for the N3 platform vehicles, while maintaining the same body and chassis from the previous platform.
The all-new Kona will be sharing the same N3 underpinning with the new Niro but the EV version may have a dedicated EV platform. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
If it’s the case of the new Kona EV just taking on the new nomenclature of IONIQ 3, the pure electric model will more than likely use the same 400-volt power electric system from the Niro EV with 201 hp motor and 64.8 kWh battery. However, if it’s the case that it would be converted to a dedicated EV platform, it would most likely be utilizing the IONIQ 5 derived 800-volt system, with the power output ranging from 168 hp single motor rear-wheel-drive setup to 232 hp dual-motor set up for the all-wheel-drive capability. The battery size, in this case, is expected to be IONIQ 5 sourced 58 kWh to render 250 miles or 400 km of range.
As for the N version, the horsepower is expected to be as high as 400 to offer a breathtaking performance similar to the IONIQ 5 N. The new IONIQ 3 N is expected to share a similar drivetrain as the new IONIQ 4 N electric sports hatchback, which is in line to inherit the Veloster N moniker.
An alternate predictive rendering of the 2nd-generation Kona as penned by NY Mammoth. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A)
Already nearing completion as seen by the latest spy photos, the likely launch date of Kona and IONIQ 3 is next year. However, there could be a possibility that it may be pushed forward earlier as Hyundai desperately needs a contender against the new Kia Niro and the Kia Seltos, which is also undergoing a mid-cycle refresh at the end of this year.
The estimated starting price is to be similar to that of the New Niro at $27,000 for the hybrid model, $32,000 for the plug-in hybrid, and $42,000 for the EV model or the IONIQ 3, with the possibility of sub $40,000 price if converted to LFP battery.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/lZaslUHIF1A