Click to enlarge

Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) launched the Staria MPV virtually this morning. The online launch was essentially a product video demonstrating the unique selling points of the new RM360k spaceship on wheels. They put an Easter egg in there though, and it’s a cameo teaser of the Hyundai Kona Electric.

The screenshot above sees a blue Kona Electric zoom pass the Staria as the MPV’s Safe Exit Assist – part of the latest Hyundai SmartSense ADAS suite – prevents the host from opening the door, as it’s unsafe to do so. We know that it’s the EV version of the Kona and not the regular petrol-powered car because of the no-grille nose. And did they also include the electric car’s “wooo” acceleration sound?

This comes after two units of the Kona Electric facelift were spotted at a petrol station in Ara Damansara earlier this month (they were there to fill up, the tyres). Earlier, HSDM confirmed to paultan.org that the Kona Electric’s Malaysian launch will happen in the fourth quarter of this year, which we’re in now.

We can also reveal that the Kona Electric will be available here in two battery sizes – 39.2 kWh and 64 kWh – just like in Europe. The base model’s single motor is a 136 PS unit while the 64 kWh car gets a more powerful 204 PS motor. Both have the same 395 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 9.9 seconds for the 39.2 kWh and 7.9 seconds for the 64 kWh version. Top speed is 155 km/h and 167 km/h, respectively.

The 39.2 kWh version’s range per full charge is rated at 305 km in the WLTP cycle, while the 64 kWh is officially pegged at 484 km. As for charging, DC fast charging from 10% to 80% with a 50 kW charger takes 48 minutes for the 39.2 kWh model, or 64 minutes for the 64 kWh version. Use a 100 kW charger and it’s 47 minutes for both batteries, Hyundai says.

Regular AC charging with the single-phase 7.2 kW onboard charger from 10% to 80% will take six hours in the base model and nine hours 15 minutes in the 64 kWh. Charging times go down to four hours 20 minutes and six hours 50 minutes respectively with the optional three-phase 10.5 kW onboard charger.

Click to enlarge

Expect all the kit seen in the 2021 Kona facelift range, topped by the 198 PS/265 Nm turbocharged Kona N Line. The SmartSense driver assist suite has been upgraded and now includes rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist (RCCA) and blind spot collision avoidance assist (BCA). Basically, these functions add on auto braking to the previous warning.

Also new to the Kona Electric are features such as Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA, like Perodua’s Front Departure Alert), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA).

If you’re wondering how much, the base Kona Electric with its 39.2 kWh battery is quite a similar prospect to the Nissan Leaf, which is still the sole EV officially sold here without a premium badge. The Leaf was launched in 2019 with a 40 kWh battery and RM189k price tag. The MINI Cooper SE facelift made its debut in June. With the four-year warranty and service package option ticked, and sales tax subtracted, the cute 28.9 kWh EV is yours for RM217k.

We’re expecting the base Kona Electric – which trumps both Leaf and MINI in range – to start from below RM200k. At that price, we think it’s a great “first EV” option. What do you think?

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona Electric spyshots

GALLERY: 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift

Tags: