2023 Hyundai Kona

Hyundai has released images of the “bolder, more dynamic, EV-led design” for the second-generation Kona crossover that’s scheduled to arrive in mid-2023.

2023 Hyundai Kona

2023 Hyundai Kona

Available in four variants, two of which include full-EV and hybrid electric powertrains, the design of the new Kona sits on an EV-derived universal platform – specifically the ‘K3’ that also underpins sister brand Kia’s new Niro – but features a design inspired heavily, it appears at least, by Hyundai’s ‘Seven’ concept. A move Hyundai hopes will draw attention to its increasingly electrified range of vehicles.

Read more: Hyundai, Kia get record sales with EVs

“Upscaled with KONA’s unique character, the all-new KONA confidently expresses its bold and dynamic presence,” Hyundai’s head of design SangYup Lee explains. “KONA has evolved in every respect to embrace an even wider range of diversity, to become a true lifestyle supporter.”

The second-generation Kona is 150 mm longer and 25mm wider than the model it replaces, and sits on a wheelbase 60 mm bigger, all to maximize cabin space (or “living space,” as Hyundai rather nauseatingly puts it).

2023 Hyundai Kona

2023 Hyundai Kona

Notable elements in the cabin include a slimmer dashboard than before to increase space for both the driver and front passenger, and a “floating” 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen on the centre dash. The gear shifter has also been moved to the steering column. The second row, meanwhile, showcases Hyundai’s new ‘Curve-less bench seat’ design, and while exact dimensions are not given, behind this Hyundai references a “maximized cargo space.”

Perhaps more noteworthy though is the redesigned exterior, which, in a telling move, started with the EV before adapting the HEV and ICE model variants. This move is said to bring a “tech-centric design” to all four model variants while at the same time giving each a unique look. A clamshell bonnet, thin wraparound headlamps – or the “Seamless Horizon Lamp” – a sharp ‘crease’ along the flanks, and a more muscular front end, including extended wheel arches, are the main headlines. Black detailing and two-tone black side mirrors and roof will also be available.

2023 Hyundai Kona

2023 Hyundai Kona

Interestingly, the EV model also features pixel graphics on the faux front grille, rear bumper and across 19-inch alloys, in a bid to help connect the new Kona with Hyundai’s fully-electrified Ioniq 5 and 6 range. The HEV and the ICE variants meanwhile instead boast a more ruggedly designed front bumper and skid plate, plus black wheel arch cladding.

Exact specifications will only be unveiled in the coming months, and while details regarding the drivetrain have not been revealed, it’s been speculated that the second-gen Kona EV will feature much the same drivetrain as the Kia Niro, namely a single e-motor producing around 200 hp that’s mated with a 64.8kWh battery. A 450+ kilometre electric range is expected.

It’s also been suggested that the HEV could feature a 1.6-litre four-cylinder equipped with a 43 hp electric motor – for a total output of around 140 hp – or the smaller 1-litre engine set to feature as the entry level model for the new ICE Kona.

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