2023 Hyundai Kona Rendered With More Restrained Front-End Styling

Introduced in 2017, the Hyundai Kona slots between the Bayon and Tucson crossovers. Alternately known as Kauai in Portugal and Encino in China, the subcompact utility vehicle will be fully redesigned in 2023.
2023 Hyundai Kona rendering by Bernhard Reichel 16 photos
Photo: Reichel Car Design
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Twinned with the Kia Seltos, the B-segment crossover is available with three levels of electrification: mild hybrid, hybrid, and electric. The internal combustion-only range also includes the Kona N, a high-performance variant that combines a 2.0-liter turbo four-pot engine with a dual-clutch gearbox that drives exclusively the front wheels with the help of an eLSD.

A very successful product in both Europe and the United States, the Kona will grow in size next year. Recently spied cold-weather testing, the second generation is also expected to receive more restrained styling cues up front. Loosely inspired by the Bayon small crossover, the featured speculative rendering imagines what the South Korean automaker from Seoul is currently hiding from prying eyes with the help of extensive camouflage.

SX2 is the codename for the second generation, which is rumored to replace the i30 family of compacts in the Old Continent. It remains to be seen if the gossip turns out to be true. Considering that Europeans bought just over 50,000 units of the i30 compared to just under 110,000 units of the Kona in 2021, the hearsay could be on point. What’s more, pretty much every market in this part of the world is going bananas over crossover utility vehicles.

In the suck-squeeze-bang-blow department, we’re looking forward to familiar engine options. Kind of lazy, isn’t it? On the other hand, remember that Hyundai shuttered its engine development arm to prepare for the all-electric onslaught. Given that the upcoming Euro 7 emission standard that will hinder the sale of new fossil-fuel vehicles, this change of heart isn’t surprising.

Will there be another Kona N? Fingers crossed, but you can bet your bottom dollar the mild-hybrid, hybrid, and full-electric Kona will soldier on.
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Editor's note: 2023 Hyundai Kona prototype featured in the gallery.

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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