After much teasing, the Hyundai Kona is now officially revealed. The Kona is a B-segment SUV that sits below the Tucson and Santa Fe, and is designed to appeal to the millennial demographic, according to its maker. Like its bigger siblings, this one is named after a place in the US – Kona is a coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Kona enters a class that has the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR (in Europe, the original funky SUV, Nissan Juke is in the Kona’s sights); but should be able to stand out thanks to unique styling.

The Kona’s bold face reminds us of the Citroen C4 Cactus, with slit-like LED daytime running lights (incorporating turn signals) sitting separately above the LED main beams. These flank the new corporate Cascading Grille that made its debut on the new i30. Fog lamps on a narrow lower intake make it three tiers of grilles and lights.

The rear adopts the same tiered layout for the lamps. Hyundai says that visual relationship between the “composite lamps”, the Cascading Grille and the unique body “armour” results in a distinct character, and we don’t disagree. Note the integration of the wheel arch part of the black armour with the lower lamp surrounds, front and rear. There’s also a black “floating roof” for a two-tone look.

The Kona is 4,165 mm long and 1,800 mm wide; which makes it 129 mm shorter than a HR-V, but 28 mm wider. Its roof is also 55 lower to the ground than the Honda, which should give the Korean a good stance. The wheelbase is 2,600 mm, which is just 10 mm short of the Honda, the class’ space champ.

Hyundai says that the Kona sits on a new compact SUV platform, optimised to incorporate SUV ground clearance and optional 4WD, while maintaining cabin volume.

Depending on markets, the small SUV can be had with a 2.0 litre MPI Atkinson engine with 149 PS/179 Nm (paired to a six-speed auto, it does 0-100 km/h in 10 seconds and 194 km/h max) or a Gamma 1.6 litre T-GDI with 177 PS, 265 Nm and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Thus equipped, the Kona gets up to 100 km/h in just 7.7 seconds on its way to 210 km/h.

In addition to the 1.6 turbo, Europeans can also opt for the downsized 1.0 litre T-GDI three-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual. This tiny turbo is good for 120PS, 172 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 12 seconds and 181 km/h max. Sounds good enough. A 1.6 litre turbodiesel will also be available in Europe.

Different rear suspension systems have been developed for both 2WD and 4WD, to deliver a comfortable ride and “sporty handling” either way. The rear subframe receives new bush structure for the 2WD set-up, with a “high-stiffness” torsion beam, while the 4WD configuration features a dual-arm multi-link system.

The Kona will come with active safety kit such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which uses a front camera and radar to brake autonomously if needed. Three other systems also use the camera – Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning to detect fatigue. The radar assists with Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Collison Warning.

Look at it again, what superhero does the armoured Hyundai Kona most resemble? Yup, there will be a Kona Iron Man Special Edition that’s 40 mm wider, and with “special LEDs” on the headlights, which sit under a matte grey good with red and gold accents. 19-inch directional rims with the Iron Man mask on the centre caps are paired with off-road tyres.

No pics of the superhero SE, yet. Hyundai has also not released official images of the interior, but we have an earlier spyshot above that gives a decent glimpse at the dashboard. The Kona will go on sale in Korea this month, followed by North America and Europe.