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HomeAutoFirst Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype – CleanTechnica Receive US

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Hyundai gave its common Kona a facelift for 2024, and we have been among the first folks outdoors the corporate to take one of many absolutely electrical prototypes for a spin. We usually drive early manufacturing builds, so that they nonetheless would possibly tweak just a few issues earlier than its locked in for manufacturing later this yr, however the main options are seemingly locked in at this level.

Design

Hyundai introduced us out to countryside surrounding Baltimore, Maryland, to wheel round on the corporate’s new common CUV. The brand new 2024 Kona EV is available in a brand new refined package deal with a barely longer wheelbase and completely different exterior look than its predecessor. This transfer is true according to what different automobiles within the phase are doing and retains the Kona aggressive in its phase.

The outside options daring new “horizon lamps” LED mild bars throughout the entrance and rear of the automotive. These give the automobiles what is nearly a futuristic stormtrooper vibe. It actually is a placing characteristic and I couldn’t assist however take discover of Hyundai’s vans sporting the horizon lamp accent on a go to to Seoul earlier this yr.

A daring mild bar throughout the rear is flanked by a basis of Hyundai’s signature pixelated LEDs. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Beneath the horizon lamp on the entrance and rear of the automotive, the Kona EV sports activities Hyundai’s pixelated horizon lamp as virtually a shadow of the daring line that sits increased up on the car. It’s a complicated mixture that provides the Kona a bit extra subtlety than its edgier sibling, the IONIQ 5.

Paired with its huge physique type fender flares, the brand new Kona EV feels edgier and extra futuristic than its predecessor. The fender flares are available each a extra subdued, painted trim and a contrasting gray equipment which we’re desirous to see in individual.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

The big rear hatch space has a secret sub trunk compartment the place you possibly can conceal your valuables. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Popping the hood of the brand new 2024 Kona EV reveals what seems to be just like the plastic cowl on many combustion engines however is definitely the sealed cowl for a small entrance storage space. By default, a 110 volt wall charger for the automotive lives there. Our preview unit additionally had an adapter for the J1772 to AC plug in it. The sticker on the unit mentioned it will assist AC energy output at as much as 15 amps at 125 volts.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

This can be a neat little gem that we have been informed Hyundai plans to promote as an adjunct and is only one extra of the small advantages of constructing automobiles to assist vehicle-to-grid. Extra necessary than a single AC outlet in a pinch, these autos will seemingly assist vehicle-to-X, which means it can push energy out to no matter your life calls for, whether or not it’s your home, your tenting setup, your laptop computer in a pinch, or one thing else.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Hyundai’s J1772 to NEMA 5-15 AC outlet adapter is a helpful add on. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Stepping contained in the 2024 Kona EV, the inside felt spacious and relaxed. This was executed by optimizing the inside house with people on the heart of the design, including extra quantity to the inside, and by including noise dampening. Hyundai lowered the thickness of the entrance seats by 30% and added a noticeable curve to the again of the seat, giving rear passengers extra leg room with no compromise up entrance.

Additionally they opened up house within the heart console by shifting the shifter as much as the steering column. The brand new stalk shifter nonetheless, isn’t as intuitive, as its not operated by pushing it up or down bodily, however by twisting the tip knob as if adjusting a windshield wiper or comparable perform in a conventional automotive.

It’s a blocky rectangular mechanism and takes a little bit little bit of getting used to, however is one thing I’m positive house owners could have no downside getting used to after just a few drives. Having mentioned that, count on this to be a one of many issues that folks should be taught when driving this automotive for the primary time, which seems like an step backwards away from an intuitive person expertise.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Up entrance, the brand new twin 12.3-inch excessive definition shows are beautiful and the improved processors and {hardware} powering them has made them responsive and simple to make use of. On the software program facet of issues, nonetheless, the UI nonetheless retains among the clunkiness related to legacy automotive OEM software program installations within the infotainment house.

We have been skilled to make use of touchscreens by our smartphones and whereas they’re getting higher and higher with each revision, Hyundai’s in-car system nonetheless isn’t as intuitive because it may very well be or ought to be. For instance, discovering saved factors of curiosity on the map required a little bit of a serving to hand to seek out. Getting acquainted with the ins and outs of the system will occur over time, however house owners should make investments a while to get used to, somewhat than having it’s an intuitive expertise from day one.

The trade-off is minimal, as a result of when you do get used to it, the gauge cluster type show behind the steering wheel and the infotainment type show if the middle of the car are each stunning and simple to make use of.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Hyundai’s Head of Inside Design Kevin Kang mentioned on the occasion that Hyundai aspired to strike a greater stability between the bodily and the digital worlds than some EV producers who appear reluctant to place buttons of their autos. Hyundai approached this with intention, placing in sufficient buttons to get the job executed for crucial duties, however with an equal quantity of energy in non-critical areas on the touchscreens.

This philosophy performs out within the automotive with the local weather management being straightforward to learn and modify from the bodily local weather dashboard situated within the heart console slightly below the middle show. It’s augmented with a handful of buttons simply above it for the infotainment system, which function shortcuts for the digital show.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Beneath the local weather controls lives a big drive mode choice dial. It’s an odd addition, as most customers seemingly gained’t use this after the primary week. On both facet of the drive mode dial are seat heater choice buttons, that are a pleasant contact, as these are issues many drivers will use frequently and one thing you additionally need the passenger to have the ability to management independently with out having to ask for permission to make use of the middle show or to coach them on its use. The seats are additionally ventilated and the controls for that reside under the seat heater buttons.

In between, all of these are the heated steering wheel possibility, which is unquestionably one thing that’s useful to have on a fast button in colder climbs, whereas the auto maintain parking digital camera and parking distance buttons don’t essentially fall into that class. The parking possibility particularly, for those who like issues that ought to simply robotically come up on the show when the automotive detects parking strains or strikes into auto park mode.

Whereas the battle between the absolutely digital world and the absolutely bodily world with buttons continues, it nonetheless seems like Hyundai has room to trim out a little bit of the fats within the bodily button world with what seems like dozens of buttons and controls to be taught within the automotive on the steering wheel and past.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

The entrance location of the EV charging port is a good choice. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Overhead, a moonroof lives dormant behind a material type cowl. The mix gives the additional headroom supplied by shifting to a full glass roof with the utterly shaded driving expertise of a conventional roof when it’s not wanted.  When the solar does come out, nonetheless, it’s a easy contact of a button to open each the material overlaying and the window itself for a bit of additional contemporary air and a while within the solar.

Driving

Having pushed the inner combustion model of the 2024 Hyundai Kona earlier within the day, switching into the EV was like floating in a dream. The brand new 2024 Kona EV does include a bit of additional noise dampening and whereas it’s noticeable within the combustion construct, it makes the EV seems like a luxurious automotive as compared.

The powertrain makes no perceivable noise, with the one exterior noise coming from the tires, which is available in by way of the wheel wells when slowing, accelerating shortly, or taking exhausting turns.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Contained in the Kona EV, you’ve received the choice of 4 driving modes, selecting between eco, regular, sport, and snow. We switched between all of them and located little or no to distinguish between them. In all modes, the acceleration is sufficient to push your head again however there may be additionally a noticeable lag within the pedal response throughout the board.

Hyundai’s staff talked about that they had been working to optimize the stability of energy output within the automotive for its dimension, even decreasing the general torque numbers on the brand new motor in comparison with the earlier yr. We requested Hyundai about this and so they shared that balancing the torque output with the pedal motion is a little bit of a problem. It positively seems like there’s a chance to strike a extra efficiency oriented stability, particularly once you kick it into the Sport driving mode.

Flying by way of the curvy nation roads, the battery offers the automotive a stable really feel and helps all 4 wheels keep planted on the bottom, with much less side-to-side physique roll than you’ll count on from an inner combustion SUV. Physique sway from entrance to again feels prefer it may nonetheless use some tuning, with speedy acceleration inflicting a noticeable carry within the nostril. Fast braking equally causes the nostril to dip greater than we might count on in a battery-electric car.

First Drive Of The 2024 Kona EV Prototype - CleanTechnica Receive US Obtain US

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

That isn’t to say the Kona EV isn’t enjoyable to drive, as a result of it positively is. Its low profile holds quick to the highway due to the battery, with its electrical motor kicking in with sufficient energy and torque to maintain your pulse pounding. It was a blast ripping across the nation roads outdoors Baltimore within the Kona EV, and we are able to’t wait to see what they do within the absolutely polished manufacturing model later this yr.

Slamming the brakes after speedy straight line acceleration and on corners was sturdy, and so they kicked in with an additional little bit of fervor to supply all of the stopping energy we wanted. It’s a compact automotive with tons of performance.

General

The brand new mannequin yr 2024 Kona EV brings with it plenty of welcome upgrades, together with further inside house, improved shows, much less cabin noise, and a extra appropriately tuned motor. These make the Kona EV the most effective values within the house and provides potential house owners quite a few tangible causes to go for it as a substitute of the competitors

Mixed with an already spectacular set of options at a really affordable value level, we are able to’t wait to see what the 2024 Kona EV seems to be like in its full manufacturing getup.

Disclaimer: Hyundai paid for the writer’s journey and lodging to attend this driving occasion.

 

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