Hyundai is quite active with prototypes for the next-generation Kona small SUV. These photos mark the second sighting of a test vehicle in less than a week, but this time around our vision isn’t limited to the exterior. The camera gets up close to the camouflaged Kona and snaps a few interior shots. It’s our best look so far at what’s happening in the greenhouse.
And what do we see? The Kona is going digital, with what appears to be a single piece of glass spanning half the dash. Our sources suggest it could follow a similar format to the layout in the Ioniq 5, with a dedicated screen for the driver fused with the center infotainment display. With heavy coverings on top of the dash, it’s hard to tell if the screen will be embedded or stand tall as its own entity. The laptop also obscures the passenger side of the dash, but we can see vents and a cluster of controls beneath the center portion of the screen. That’s a similar design to the Ioniq 5.
Gallery: Next-Generation Hyundai Kona Spy Photos
On the outside, these new spy shots don’t reveal anything we haven’t already discussed. Hyundai continues to fill the heavy camouflage at the front and rear with false panels, making the vehicle look larger than it actually is. However, we do expect the new Kona to grow slightly versus the outgoing model. The split headlight design at the front will endure, though it could gain lower lights with more of a vertical orientation to fit with the current design language of other Hyundai SUVs.
A visible exhaust pipe on this prototype confirms internal combustion power of some measure will make it to the next generation. Of course, the Kona is already available with a fully electric powertrain, and our spy sources say a next-gen Kona EV with the codename SX2e is in development. For that matter, there’s allegedly an SX2n codename in the mix as well. Hyundai seems committed to keeping sporty N versions of the Kona around.
Current thinking is that the next Kona will debut in 2023. As we’ve seen with other Hyundai models, it will likely appear first in the South Korean market, followed by global markets.
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