What is it?
The recent shake-up of what models do and don’t qualify for the UK government’s electric car grant has affected plenty of manufacturers, but Hyundai has been stung particularly badly.
While the entry-level Kona Electric continues to qualify for a discount under the new rules, the longer-range model is now exempt, carving a significant gulf through the line-up. It means the 64kWh Ultimate version seen here now retails for more than £40k, pushing it into a hotly contested price bracket along with newcomers like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID 4.
If you’re more of a glass-half-full person, though, you might say the crossover EV’s mid-life refresh is particularly well-timed. As well as receiving a host of interior technology and safety upgrades, the Kona Electric has been treated to a dramatic makeover.
The outgoing model wasn’t exactly in danger of being mistaken for its combustion-powered or hybrid range-mates, but there’s no chance of that happening now. It ditches a traditional grille in favour of a completely smoothed-over nose that will remind you of either a Tesla Model 3 or that scene in the Matrix where Keanu Reeves gets his mouth sealed shut. The redesigned headlights and narrow LED daytime-running lights of the petrol-powered Kona, which recently underwent a facelift of its own, also make an appearance here.
It retains the same synchronous electric motor as before, sending 201bhp and 291lb ft to the front axle via a single-speed reduction gear. Suspension is by way of MacPherson struts up front, and multi-link at the rear. The 64kWh battery pack is rated for up to 300 miles of range, and supports a maximum 77kW charge rate when plugged into a 100kW DC charge point.