More futuristic than ever new Hyundai Kona touches down
A choice of internal combustion, hybrid and electric power will be provided, but exact specification remains unknown for now.
Front end has been styled to resemble that of the Staria and Stargazer.
Despite revealing the heavily facelifted Kona two years ago, Hyundai has sprung a surprise by releasing first images and select details of the all-new second generation that will enter production next year.
On sale in its current first-generation guise since 2017, the Kona debuted as not only Hyundai’s first compact crossover, but also the most polarising aesthetically as it sported a controversial split headlight design that went on to became a mainstay of other models.
Styling from the future
Sporting a profile that now comes with added visual traits from the Tucson, especially when viewed from the C-pillar back, the Kona does away with the mentioned headlight arrangement for a Stargazer and Staria-esque LED strip Hyundai calls the Seamless Horizon Lamp.
Integrated below the bonnet line, the setup will be pixelated on electric versions and aside from premiering on the Kona, previews a design element future Hyundai models are likely to receive at some stage as well.
In addition to the remodelled, now rectangular lower grille with prominent air inlets on the side, the upper grille also departs while the lower light pods have been redesigned into a much slimmer recess now located on the sides of the front bumper.
As a nod to its Indian siblings, the Kona receives a similar lower light pod etched into the wheel arch, a bigger window, number plate cavity moved from the tailgate to the base of the bumper and a more discreet diffuser.
Confirmed to ride on wheel sizes measuring up to 19-inches depending on the trip level, the Kona keeps its trademark wheel arch cladding, but rides on a platform that now measures 4 355 mm in overall length and 2 660 mm on the wheelbase front.
Representing respective gains of 150 mm and 60 mm, Hyundai has also stretched the Kona’s width by 25 mm to 1 825 mm while keeping the claimed height unchanged at 1 575 mm. No details regarding any boot space gains were made public.
Interior a mix of new and old
What did get previewed though is the interior, which represent a massive departure from the current model as the swoopy dash makes way for a vertical, minimalist setup resplendent with a dual 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment system that mirrors Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX.
Called “the living space” by Hyundai, the lower climate control module appears less high tech in that it features a small display surrounded by a plethora of physical buttons and knobs.
The centre console is also new and while difficult to decipher, lacks a gear lever that has been relocated to the steering column. In effect, this means that the Kona will no longer come with the option of a manual transmission.
Power of three
Hyundai was more tight-lipped on the Kona’s chassis and drivetrain, confirming only a choice of internal combustion power, hybrid and fully electric, plus the return of the sporty N Line.
“Right now, Hyundai Europe is in EV heaven. Having Kona EV, Ioniq 5 EV, they are so happy selling those EVs and they’re not really fighting to get a Kona with a combustion [petrol] engine, to continue into a next-generation (Kona N),” former Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann was quoted by Australia’s drive.com.au as saying earlier this month.
“There could be a stretch of four years or so on a next-generation (Kona N) with a combustion engine, but the EV heaven is just too charming and too enjoyable right now to our salespeople. So, they are really not fighting for it”.
On track to be fully detailed, reportedly in March next year, sales of the new Kona commence soon after with pricing expected at a later stage.
At present, Hyundai South Africa has remained quiet on local market availability, but expect an announcement to be made later in 2023.