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Hyundai Unveils Funky Kona Electric Crossover With Tesla Model 3 Rivaling 292-Mile Range

When it comes to electric vehicles, products from Tesla tend to suck all of the oxygen out of the room. After all, it's hard to argue with the good looks and forward-looking technology that's strewn throughout EV's like the Model S and Model 3. However, other manufacturers are quickly catching up, and Hyundai has just unveiled a new crossover EV that comes close to matching the endurance of the "Long Range" variant of the Model 3.

The new Kona Electric looks quite similar to its gasoline-engine counterpart, but is available in two configurations. The base, short-range model has a 99 kW electric motor that is paired with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. This combination is enough to propel the vehicle to 60 mph in a rather leisurely 9 seconds. The long-range model, on the other hand, packs in a more powerful 150 kW electric motor and a 64 kWh battery pack, allowing it to hit 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds.

Hyundai says that the short- and long-range variants are capable of traveling 186 and 292 miles per charge respectively (Euro Cycle). To put that in perspective, here are the EPA driving ranges of some other well-known electric vehicles that are currently available (or soon to be available) in the U.S. market:

The vehicle's onboard battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in around 54 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger. Using the onboard 7.2 kW AC charger, those times climb to 6 hours 10 minutes for the short-range model and 9 hours 40 minutes for the long-range model.

On the styling front, we don't know what to say other than fact that it is quite... visually challenged. It is nowhere near as cohesive as the Model 3 or even the Chevy Bolt, but it may appeal to those that like the jacked-up hatchback look of current small crossover utility vehicles. Inside, things are much more conventional, largely carrying over the layout of its internal combustion engine counterpart. The only major difference is the redesign of the shifter area in the center console.

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The Kona Electric is outfitted with the latest safety technology including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane following assist, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert (among other driver aids).

Hyundai has yet to announce pricing or U.S. availability for the Kona Electric, but expect it to start slightly higher than the Hyundai Ioniq EV, which is priced from $29,500.

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