The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face
Photo: All Images Credit Hyundai

The Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t the first EV to have no grille. It just has the most least of a face of any of these kinds of cars.

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Even a Tesla Model 3 has the impression of a face, along with the Models X and S. They’re sculpted. You see a face even on a largely blank front.

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Not so with the Kona.

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face

It looks like when Neo gets his mouth closed up in The Matrix.

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face
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And look, I like cars with no grille. I drive a ‘70s Volkswagen. No grille there. Before that I had a early ‘90s Lexus which barely had a grille. I love all of the ‘60s cars with no vents up front, like Renault Caravelles and Chevy Corvairs. The Porsche 911! Great example of a grille-less classic that still has a clear face.

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face
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But newer cars have astronomically taller front ends, and an electric SUV smoothing over where a grille would be to duct air into a radiator for an internal combustion engine, well, Hyundai’s designers really had their work cut out for them.

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And hey, the skinny lights are good, and the rest of the car is normal and fine, too.

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Kona Electric Has The Most Least Face
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I’m not saying that this is like, bad. It’s not ugly. It’s honest! That’s good. It’s just strange, you know? Stands out, to be sure.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

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The Devil Drives a Mustang (Rotary Pending)

So technically, not even gasoline cars need giant grills. All the air a car needs for combustion and cooling can be drawn in through the slot below the bumper. Examples from the grill-less era of cars:

The grill-less look works so much better when the nose of a car is lower and “sharper”, but modern cars have such high hoods that turn the front “face” into a giant wall. A grill helps fill in that wall. It’s surely not the only way to get the job done, but noone has come up with a better way yet.