2021 Hyundai Kona Electric SUV details revealed

The popular brand has upgraded its flagship zero-emission vehicle and one surprising item has given it a big leg up.

Hyundai has updated its Kona electric SUV with a new look, more equipment and improved range.

Driving range has been boosted by 35km up to 484km, which is in the upper reaches of electric-car range for EVs on sale in Australia.

This improvement was made possible by the addition of Michelin low rolling resistance tyres, which reduce the energy needed to move the wheel.

The two-tier model range consists of Elite and Highlander grades that use the same 150kW/396Nm electric motor and 64kW lithium-ion battery.

The battery is capable of accepting a 100kW charge, which can replenish the battery from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in about 47 minutes. Electric cars reduce the speed of charging above 80 per cent to stop damage to the battery caused by overheating.

Base Elite versions cost about $67,000 drive-away — a rise of roughly $1000 compared to the previous version.

Hyundai has added a bunch of new equipment to the Elite version including upgraded safety tech such as active blind-spot assistance. This safety feature will partially brake at speeds above 60km/h if the driver ignores the warning sound and continues to merge. It will also auto brake if a collision is imminent when parking.

Also new is lane follow assist, which helps keep the car in the centre of the lane, and rear cross-traffic alert with auto braking function. Safe exit warning will let passengers know if it is safe to open the door and a rear occupant alert will mean no littlies are left behind.

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Hyundai has also upped the convenience and infotainment features, adding a larger 10.25-inch digital display, rear seat USB charging points, a premium eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and a wireless device charging pad.

The Highlander version already comes with these features but scores a heating function for the two outward rear seats and ambient cabin lighting over the previous version.

Prices for the Highlander start at about $71,500 drive-away, a rise of less than $1000 on the 2020 version.

Both versions are still roughly $30,000 more than the petrol-powered equivalent.

The Kona Electric will also wear a fresh face with new headlights, grille, tail-lights, alloy-wheels and bumps.

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