- New Hyundai Kona unveiled
- new platform; Bigger in every dimension; EV Focus
- Expected in Australia mid next year.
Hyundai has revealed the 2023 Kona ‘SX2’ – with the entire range built around its battery-electric variant.
The Kona’s design has been taken further, picking up the broad, but slim, LED lighting details and futuristic wheel design cues from the brand’s Ioniq range.
“Kona has evolved to embrace a wide range of diversity in every sense, becoming a true lifestyle advocate,” said Sung-yup Lee, executive vice president and head of Hyundai Design Center.
Exact powertrain details and Australian release timing are still unconfirmed, but it’s likely we’ll receive every variant offered globally this time with a local launch mid-next year.
With the small SUV segment becoming increasingly competitive, the potential addition of a hybrid powertrain with the new model will help Hyundai’s Kona compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Corolla Cross.
The corner grows in every direction.
Also helping Kona’s success will be its newfound size. Although the new Kona will share its platform with the i30 sedan and Kia Niro, it has slightly different dimensions, with a wheelbase of 2660mm. 60 mm longer than beforebut still 60 mm shorter than the corresponding vehicles.
Overall length increases to 4355mm – a significant 150mm – while width increases by 25mm to 1825mm.
Hyundai designers first penned the Kona Electric, followed by the regular Kona and the sporty N Line variants. The result is a unified range and crisp detailing such as the ‘horizon lamp’ daytime running lights at the front.
The Kona EV and regular Kona have aerodynamic front ends without grilles, reminiscent of the previous electric model, while the Enline adopts a more aggressive stance with squared-off air intakes and grille.
Underneath, the new Kona takes cues from the Tucson and i30 sedan’s wide, origami-like sheet metal on the doors.
Around the rear is a single LED light bar, with high-mount brake lights hidden under the rear spoiler. The electric version can be easily distinguished by the broken LED bar, where the combustion-powered Konas have a solid glow.
Additionally, the Kona Electric can be identified by the ‘Pixel’-inspired 19-inch alloy wheels, which are an inch taller than what’s currently available. The N Line will also wear the big 19, but the N Line is likely to be the toughest corner, with the future of the N Performance model in doubt in light of tightening emissions standards in Europe.
Inside Kona’s cabin
The interior of the Kona takes many cues from the Ioniq 5. The single image shows light-colored leather upholstery with a manually adjustable passenger seat, and a clever in-dash storage cubby in front of the seat with ambient lighting.
Although the platform is supposed to support electric, hybrid and pure internal combustion engines (ICE), Hyundai has done its best to create an airy, EV-like cabin, even if the front footwell is completely covered. Not as smooth as the Ioniq 5. It looks like the last floor. The Kona is shaping up to be a more generous family car than ever before.
In terms of technology, the Kona appears to house a pair of screens (possibly the brand’s largest 12.3-inch items) in a single housing, similar to that seen in the top-spec Kia Niro GT-Line EV. The software skin also seems to be lighter, though that will be confirmed closer to Kona’s launch.
Hyundai says the new Kona will feature electric, hybrid and ICE. It’s likely that Europe will get mostly electric and hybrid models, while Australia will see more action from the combustion engine.
The new 1598cc turbo-petrol four-cylinder found in the i20 N and Tucson is likely to feature in the new AWD Kona N line. 132kW/265Nm Tune, replacing the existing 1591cc unit. Whether the 2.0-litre multi-point injection engine will continue in the price-leader trims is not confirmed.
As for the hybrid powertrain, it will likely be the same as that found in the Kia Niro Hybrid Electric S, meaning 104kW of power and 265Nm of torque are sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This time too, the possibility of an Australian arrival of the hybrid is looking high.
As the flagship, the electric Kona will likely arrive in Australia with similar changes to the latest ‘SG2’ Kia Niro, meaning less torque from the same electric motor – now 150kW/255Nm – for potentially better driving range. .
The Kona Electric is already a strong performer when it comes to performance, recently achieving a real-world driving range of 490km from its 66kWh battery. which car EV test. Expect the new car to be better again.