The current Hyundai Kona has a polarizing design and doesn’t look like a run-of-the-mill SUV. That can be good as well as bad. However, since the first generation of the model has been on the market since 2017 and a facelift was released at the end of 2020, it is only logical that our spy photographers have now caught a prototype of the next generation.
The new Kona was spotted in Sweden on Autec rims. So not on an OEM wheelset. Not exactly a rare sight, but a little unusual. The Kona is no longer Hyundai’s cheapest SUV. There is also the Bayon.
Both models are roughly the same size, but our photographers tell us that the vehicle pictured here has grown. That could mean Hyundai wants to separate the Kona and the Bayon to avoid the current overlaps.
The prototype has an internal combustion engine, as indicated by the exhaust tip under the passenger-side rear bumper. Hybrid and EV configurations will likely be available again, which can’t be said for the Bayon as it’s a petrol only vehicle. Part of a small rear light can be seen through the camouflage. We’re tempted to think it’s a separate, lower-mounted cluster. Similar to the current Kona.
On the front, separate cutouts in the camouflage indicate that the Kona will continue to have split lighting units. Bucking the trend, the redesigned grille appears to be smaller as the visible upper camouflage paint is applied to part of the bumper. Side profile shots reveal slightly more angular wheel arches and a speaker mounted inside the A-pillar.
With the camouflage still very extensive, Hyundai is unlikely to unveil the new Kona any time soon. We suspect that the small SUV will be launched in late 2022 or early 2023. Now if the South Korean brand could launch the little Casper outside of their home market that would be great…