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Motoring News

2022 HYUNDAI KONA N LINE

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Hyundai Kona 2021
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

2022 HYUNDAI KONA N LINE

By EWAN KENNEDY

Hyundai has a very strong lineup of models in its Kona series – everything from conventional petrol-engined models all the way up to a full electric. This week’s road test review car is the Kona N-Line.

It’s a sporty looking vehicle, though without the impressive performance of its big brother the more expensive Kona N Performance.

The Kona is sold in a crowded class, with its major competitors being Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 Mitsubishi ASX and Toyota C-HR.

STYLING

Hyundai Kona 2021

Hyundai is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV.

Kona is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV in its shape. The protection around the wheels arches adds to the SUV look. The body is stylish without going over the top.

We particularly like the interesting front shape with its high-level daytime running lights and the low-slung headlights.

The N-Line has a revised front bumper and there are side skirts. Dual exhaust tailpipes provide a tough look to drivers following you.

Ground clearance is 170mm which is higher than the typical on-road hatchback but falls well short of the 210mm in real four-wheel drives. That 170mm does add to the business-like appearance.

INTERIOR

Hyundai Kona 2021

Hyundai is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV.

There’s an upmarket look inside the Kona. We really like the practical dashboard with its large dials and an easy to see 10.5-inch centre display set at the same level as the instruments so you spend minimum time looking away from the road to check it.

There’s rather too much black inside for our tastes, but to some extent that’s broken up by the red stitches on the sports seats and the steering wheel.

INFOTAINMENT
The N-Line has an eight-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system. We found the setup of the speakers is just right and it provides the sort of sound.

There are interfaces for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine produces 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque, the latter at a pretty high 4500 rpm. Most drivers will seldom go as high as 4500, however there’s reasonable punch below that number.

The automatic is a continuously variable transmission to maximise performance and minimise petrol consumption. As part of the mid-life makeover the CVT replaced the six-speed conventional auto previously used. Read our opinion of this auto in the Driving section of this road test review.

SAFETY
All Kona models have received five stars from ANCAP. It has six airbags, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and lane-following assist.

Rear occupant alert is there in case you’ve forgotten there are kids in the back seats when you get out.

DRIVING
The CVT automatic has been designed by Hyundai engineers to give it a feeling of having preset ratios, it did jar a little but we soon ceased to notice what was happening under the bonnet.

You can sort of use it as a manual by changing ‘gears’ if you feel that way inclined. After trying this we simply left if to do its own thing.

There’s less room in rear seat of the Kona than we had expected, meaning I had to move my driving seat forward a couple of notches to provide knee room for anyone behind me.

The Koreans have a long history of tuning their cars to suit Australian roads and what we Aussie drivers like in the way of handling and comfort. Kona is obviously not a sports car but does hold on nicely during cornering and gives good feedback through the steering while and your backside.

It’s a bit noisy on gravel road and there’s some bump-thump on concrete road joins such as those on our road test section on the M1 motorway between Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Fuel consumption during our test period was in the 8 to 10 litres per hundred kilometres in town and suburban driving. It fell to five to six litres per hundred on country and motorway testing.

All Hyundais have a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and a lifetime capped-price-servicing plan.

SUMMING UP
The updated Hyundai Kona offers a lot of car for a pretty modest price. We feel this update is a worthwhile one and we reckon it should certainly be on your list of cars to be checked out.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
2.0 Kona 2WD: $26,600
2.0 Active 2WD: $28,200
2.0 Elite 2WD: $31,600
2.0 Highlander 2WD: $38,000
1.6 Kona N Line AWD: $36,300
1.6 N Line Premium AWD: $42,400
EV Elite Standard Range: $54,500
EV Elite Extended Range: $60,500
EV Highlander Standard Range: $58,000
Extended Range: $64,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai Kona N Line 1.6-litre petrol five-door wagon)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.591 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 146 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel Type: 91RON petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 156 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4215 mm
Wheelbase: 2600 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1560 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1395 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

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2024 Lotus Emeya
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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing and Specifications: Base Price Increases by Nearly $10,000

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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing and Specifications: Base Price Increases by Nearly $10,000

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seater now comes exclusively as a hybrid and is significantly better equipped, resulting in a base price increase of $9,450 compared to the previous V6 model.

Key Points:

  • Pricing and Specifications for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hybrid-Only Model Available in Three Variants
  • Expanded List of Standard Features
  • Starting Price at $55,500 Before On-Road Costs

The entry-level price for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seat SUV has jumped by nearly $10,000 for this larger, better-equipped, hybrid-only model, set to arrive in showrooms soon.

New Hybrid Powertrain and Design

The 2024 Santa Fe will be available in Australia solely as a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol hybrid, offering both front- and all-wheel drive options. The redesigned model features a larger, boxier body and includes more advanced equipment and technology. While a petrol-only 2.5-litre turbo variant may be added later to replace the previous V6, the diesel option has been completely discontinued for this new generation, according to Hyundai Australia’s latest information.

Price Increase Details

The starting price has risen to $55,500 plus on-road costs from the previous $46,050 plus on-road costs for the base petrol V6 model. The lineup now includes three models: an unnamed base grade, the Elite, and the Calligraphy, which replaces the Highlander.

  • Base Model (AWD): Priced at $58,500, this is $8,950 more than the previous entry-level all-wheel-drive version, which used a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine. It is only $210 more than the entry-level Toyota Kluger Hybrid.
  • Elite Model: The hybrid AWD Elite is now $65,000, marking a $2,000 increase over its predecessor, which was the most affordable hybrid in the previous Santa Fe range.
  • Calligraphy Model: Prices for the Calligraphy variant range from $75,000 for the seven-seat version to $75,500 for the six-seat version, an increase of $5,450 to $5,950 depending on the configuration.
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

Enhanced Features

The significant price increases are justified by a longer list of standard features. These include 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual 12.3-inch interior screens, dual-zone climate control, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat, all standard across the range. Many of these features were previously limited to the higher-priced Active and Elite versions of the Santa Fe.

Advanced Technology and Safety

Top-tier models now come with advanced technology such as semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist, which can centre the car in its lane and assist with lane changes.

Performance and Efficiency

All variants are powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, delivering a combined output of 172kW and 376Nm (an increase of 3kW and 26Nm from the previous hybrid). This powertrain is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, available in both AWD and, for the first time in Australia, FWD configurations.

Hyundai Australia claims a fuel consumption rate of 5.6L/100km, although it is not specified whether this applies to the FWD or AWD models. Despite the new model being approximately 250kg heavier than its predecessor, this figure is more efficient than the 6.0L/100km claimed by the outgoing Santa Fe Hybrid AWD and matches the efficiency of the Kluger Hybrid.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Prices in Australia:

  • Santa Fe Hybrid seven-seat front-wheel drive: $55,500
  • Santa Fe Hybrid seven-seat all-wheel drive: $58,500
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Elite seven-seat all-wheel drive: $65,000
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Calligraphy seven-seat all-wheel drive: $75,000
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Calligraphy six-seat all-wheel drive: $75,500

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a notable advancement in hybrid technology, design, and features, albeit at a higher cost. Potential buyers will need to consider the improved capabilities and efficiency against the significant price increase.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

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Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Nissan is set to maintain a versatile approach for its Qashqai SUV, continuing to offer petrol, hybrid, and electric powertrains to cater to varying market demands. While the next-generation all-electric Qashqai is on the horizon, Australia is likely to continue with petrol and e-Power options for the time being.

Continued Production of All Powertrains

Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK will keep producing the Qashqai for global markets, complemented by production in Dalian, China, for the local market with partner Dongfeng. The Sunderland facility supplies Qashqais to over 100 countries, including Australia. Speaking to Australian media, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Planning Officer for the AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania) region, Francois Bailly, confirmed that the electric Qashqai will not replace existing models but will be produced concurrently to meet diverse market needs.

Electrification Strategy and Market Adaptation

Bailly emphasized the variability in market readiness for electrification. “The markets around the world are so diverse, there’s a speed of electrification that we could imagine different technologies at the same time in different markets,” he said. However, he did not confirm the all-electric Qashqai for Australia specifically, noting the growing but still relatively low EV market share in the region.

Current and Future Qashqai Offerings in Australia

In Australia, the Qashqai is available with two powertrain options:

  • A 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine.
  • A 140kW/330Nm e-Power range-extender hybrid, which pairs a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor driving the front wheels.

For emissions-restricted markets like Europe, the Sunderland factory also builds a mild-hybrid version.

The facelifted Qashqai, expected to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of the year, will likely retain the current powertrain options. It will feature updated exterior styling, improved cabin materials, and a new Google-powered infotainment system, although the latter is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Investment and Production Plans

To prepare for the new all-electric Qashqai, Nissan has invested an additional £30 million ($AU57.7 million) in the Sunderland plant to accommodate the installation of heavy battery packs and high-voltage components. The Qashqai EV will share the production line with the internal combustion engine and e-Power hybrid versions, as well as the Juke small SUV and the upcoming new-generation Leaf crossover. This strategy allows for a seamless transition from the current Qashqai to the new models, ensuring continuous production of the popular SUV.

In conclusion, Nissan’s multipronged approach with the Qashqai ensures that the SUV remains adaptable to market trends and consumer needs, offering a blend of petrol, hybrid, and electric options. This flexibility positions the Qashqai to effectively meet the demands of diverse global markets, including Australia.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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