A college kid in a red Veloster pulls up at a light next to a cop car. Aggressive revving starts, cops glare in disbelief, the kid looks embarrassed and perplexed. Wheels spin, smoke. The camera pans wider – there is a very small Veloster between the big cars making all the noise. Purple body, orange flames, big tires, huge exhaust – the full comic treatment.
That OTT little car featured in Ant-Man and Wasp, the result of Hyundai’s deliberate alignment with Marvel. While most Marvel fans would baulk at driving something so outrageous, they are salivating at the real life offering – the Hyundai KONA Iron Man Edition. This is the first production car inspired by a Marvel character.
While much quieter than the movie Veloster in the paint and chrome department, the KONA Iron Man still exudes understated menace. This beauty is mainly matte grey, with Iron Man red accents.
For a superhero-themed car, the KONA Iron Man is sort-of discreet, something you can actually drive without blushing. But this car does not try and hide what it is. Iron Man references abound outside and in the interior. The front fascia is styled like the superhero’s mask with the daytime lights shaped like the eyes. There is a Marvel logo on the bonnet, and the mags are two-tone with the Iron Man mask in the middle. The rear doors are branded ‘Stark Industries’.
Fans will be delighted by the rear lights, bumper and skid plate iron suit inspiration. The roof is red with a grey iron mask graphic.
The theme continues inside the car. Both the gear lever and the instrument panel give a nod to the Arc Reactor, while the Mask’s eyes glow at you during start-up. Tony Stark signed the dashboard. The leather seats are piped in red, with the Stark Industries logo embossed and Iron Man image on the backrests.
Overall, the Iron Man theme is strong but playful. This car will appeal to the hardcore Marvel fan, but its playful quirkiness will turn heads everywhere.
The Hyundai KONA Iron Man Edition will be a limited release – only a couple of thousand will be made. It is not known how many, if any, will make their way to our shores. But even if it does, expect to pay a premium. Based on the dollar price, the Iron Man will cost around R45 000 more than the current top of the range Kona.