2023 Hyundai Kona revealed with futuristic new look and electric, hybrid and petrol versions

Designed as an EV with capacity for petrol power

Hyundai has taken the covers off its new Kona crossover, due for launch next year in electric, hybrid and petrol forms.

The 2023 Kona will replace the existing model that has been on sale since 2017, and the new car brings with it not just an all-new look, but a slight increase in size.

The wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) has grown by 60mm as has the car as a whole, increasing by 150mm in total length and 25mm in width — not a great deal, but likely enough to provide a little more space in the rear seats and boot and to address one of the criticisms of the current model.

Hyundai Kona

A futuristic-looking light bar (dubbed “Seamless Horizon Lamp” by its maker) across the front end creates a sense of width with the feature being “pixelated” on the electric version of the new Kona in the style of the corporate design motif also seen on Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and 6 models.

The pixelated front light bar is, in fact, one of a series of visual cues differentiating the electric and other versions of the Kona.

The Kona EV gets that pixel theme repeated on its intake grille and rear bumper, with pixel-inspired 19in alloy wheels, too. The petrol-only and hybrid models feature slightly more rugged styling with a beefier bumper and skid plate design, along with black wheel arch cladding.

For a sportier look, there’s also the N Line trim with the option of black door mirrors, a black roof, a wing-type spoiler at the rear, more aggressive front and rear designs — with the bumpers designed to give the impression of a lower stance — as well as bespoke 19in wheels.

Hyundai says that the new Kona has been created as an electric vehicle from the ground up with the platform subsequently adapted to the other variants.

The company hasn’t released any technical details regarding the Kona’s powertrains yet, but given that the model will be built on the same underpinnings as the new Kia Niro, expect a 1-litre mild-hybrid petrol model, a 1.6-litre full hybrid and the pure-electric version to feature a 300-mile range and the Niro’s 201bhp motor driving the front wheels.

What is a mild-hybrid car? | What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle?

While Hyundai has only revealed one image of the Kona’s interior, it has a much cleaner, more modern look than the old version with brighter materials and the vents arranged in a single line along the fascia, to give the feeling of more width.

Hyundai Kona

The 12.3in driver’s instrument cluster and the 12.3in central infotainment screen are fused together into one continuous “floating” unit as in other new Hyundai models, while the shift-by-wire gear selector has been moved from the centre console to behind the steering wheel.

Hyundai’s new Kona is expected to sit in the firm’s range between the Bayon below and the Tucson above.

Hyundai Kona

Although at present there’s no word on exactly when the model will arrive in the UK, it is expected that the Kona will land sometime towards the middle of 2023 with a price tag probably a little higher than the current model’s — somewhere around the £23,000 mark, perhaps.

Further details will be released in the coming months.

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