The heavily restyled Hyundai Kona will arrive in March with new technology and ICE, hybrid and EV powertrains to keep it competitive in the saturated crossover market.

Taking influence from the Hyundai Seven concept of 2021, the 2023 Kona features a shark-nose front end adorning a wraparound LED lightbar, or what the Korean firm calls ‘Seamless Horizon Lamps’. The forthcoming EV variant will use a visually different pixelated version of this.

The reborn crossover also has a clamshell bonnet, wheelarch cladding and a 19-inch wheel design bespoke to this particular model.

EV variants will use a slightly different front bumper with a skid plate in lieu of the usual radiator grille, while combustion and hybrid cars add contrasting black wheel arch cladding. All cars use active air flaps to enhance aerodynamic efficiency. 

Using the same K3 platform sister brand Kia deploy, customers can expect the ICE variant will be available with a 1.6-litre or naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine with 195bhp and 146bhp respectively. The former uses a turbocharger giving it an additional 63lb ft over 132lb ft available in the 2.0-litre engine. 

The hybrid variant pairs the 1.6-litre engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 139bhp and 261lb ft. Kia could not comment on specific details of the electric variant or which powertrains the UK will receive, however we suspect the EV variant will use the same powertrain as the current Kia Niro. 

This means it is likely to use a 64.8kWh battery, allowing for 285 miles of range and a 43-minute charge time from 10-80% when using DC current. This means total power output stands at 201bhp and 188lb ft of torque. With this, expect the Kona to offer a 0-62mph time close to that of the Niro EV’s 7.8sec.

Each variant will have a sporty N line variant which adds deeper front and rear bumpers, twin exhausts on ICE and hybrid cars, silver side skirts and the options of adding a black roof and 19 inch N line alloys. Smaller touches inside will include metal pedals and an N-brand gear lever.


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