Hyundai has high expectations for the second-generation Kona Electric, for which the automaker released powertrain specifications earlier this week.

Hyundai Europe CEO Michael Cole said he expects the new Kona Electric to account for 60 percent of sales of the entire 2024 Kona model line, which also include combustion-powered and full-hybrid variants.

That would represent a sharp increase from the current Kona Electric, which made up roughly 40 percent of the model line's sales in 2022, according to figures from market researcher Dataforce.

Last year, the Kona Electric was the No. 9-selling electric vehicle in Europe with 41,448 sales, and based on that performance, Hyundai has set the bar ever higher for the second-generation model that arrives later this year.

To help the new Kona Electric achieve increased sales, Hyundai made it bigger, responding to customer demand for more interior space. Customers also wanted a wider tailgate and Hyundai obliged.

At the same time, the automaker managed to make the crossover more aerodynamic to increase range. The new Kona Electric  has a 0.27 drag coefficient, compared to 0.29 for the outgoing model. 

Gallery: 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

One way Hyundai managed to achieve that was by using active air flaps in the front to reduce the airflow when it's not needed for cooling. This feature is not very common on small crossovers.

The styling is very different from the Ioniq 5 mid-size crossover or the Ioniq 6 sedan, and Hyundai design head Sangyup Lee told Automotive News Europe that was on purpose. "Like on a chessboard, each piece has a very unique design, but together they make a complete team," he said.

Unlike the Ioniq 5, which is built on Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt E-GMP EV-dedicated architecture, the Kona Electric carries over the K3 platform from its predecessor, offering a 400-volt electric architecture. As a result, charging the Kona Electric from 10 to 80 percent SoC using a fast charger takes about 41 minutes, compared to less than 20 minutes for the Ioniq 5.

The new Hyundai Kona Electric will continue to offer two configurations. The standard range variant comes with a 48.4-kilowatt-hour battery that powers a 114.6-kilowatt (154-horsepower) electric motor. The manufacturer-estimated range for this model is 212 miles (342 kilometers) on the WLTP test cycle.

There's also a long range variant equipped with a 65.4-kWh battery that motivates a 160-kW (214-hp) motor. This model promises a WLTP range of 304 miles (490 km). As before, both variants on offer are front-wheel drive.

All versions of the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric will be manufactured at the company's factory in Nosovice, Czech Republic.

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