Chinese publication Auto163 reports that Beijing-Hyundai JV will launch the Hyundai Kona SUV in the Far Eastern market in June 2018. Interestingly, the Kona will co-exist with the Hyundai ix25 (also known as the Hyundai Creta) as the Hyundai 'Encino' in China, but will likely be marketed as the more premium, dynamic choice over the practicality-focused ix25.
As with most high volume international vehicles in China, the Encino will be locally manufactured by the Beijing-Hyundai JV. Pictures of the 5-seater SUV snapped in China reveal an exterior more or less identical to its counterpart sold in Europe, save for the Chinese branding, 'Encino' nameplate and a revised design for the auxiliary taillamp cluster.
At the tape, it measures 4,195 mm long, 1,800 mm wide, 1,550 mm tall, and has a 2,600 mm wheelbase. Compared to the ix25, the Encino is 95 mm and 47 mm shorter in length and height respectively, while it's 20 mm wider and has a 10 mm longer wheelbase. Under the hood will be a 1.6L T-GDi engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4WD system. The same powertrain in the ix25 outputs 160 hp and 250 Nm.
Also Read: 2018 Hyundai Grand Starex (facelift) launched in South Korea
In case you're wondering, the Hyundai Kona is unlikely to make it to the Indian market. Instead, Hyundai's SUV lineup will continue with the popular Creta and Tucson, while a sub-4m SUV is in the works for launch in 2019.
[Source: Auto 163]