The next-generation Hyundai Kona small SUV looks to have gotten a bit bigger.

    A very heavily camouflaged prototype of the next-gen Kona has been spied winter testing ahead of a possible reveal in 2023.

    Although this spied Kona prototype appears to be an internal-combustion powered model due to the water vapour coming from the exhaust, Hyundai is expected to continue to offer a Kona Electric.

    The Korean Car Blog reports the next-generation Kona is codenamed SX2, with the Kona Electric codenamed SX2e.

    By the looks of this prototype, it appears the Kona has grown.

    The current Kona measures in at 4205mm long and 1550mm tall, or 4215mm long and 1560mm tall in the N Line and N Line Premium trims. All models are 1800mm wide and have a 2600mm wheelbase.

    With Hyundai now offering the Bayon in Europe and the new Tucson boasting larger dimensions in both its European and global iterations, there’s room for the Kona to grow.

    From the front of the spied prototype, we can see the split headlight design with the main headlight unit mounted lower on the bumper and the daytime running lights mounted higher.

    The first-generation Kona, which debuted locally in 2017, was the first Hyundai vehicle to feature the split headlight design. This design element has since been rolled out to other Hyundai offerings such as the Staria, Palisade, Santa Fe, Tucson and Venue.

    Compared to the current Kona, this prototype has a headlight unit that’s more vertical like the ones on the Palisade.

    Around the side it’s hard to distinguish what changes have been made, but the wheelbase appears to be slightly elongated while the overhangs don’t appear longer than those of the current car.

    The rear end of the spied Kona prototype is almost entirely camouflaged, so what it’ll look like remains a mystery.

    It’s hard to tell if the tail lights are fake prototype units or production-ready ones, but it appears the next-generation Kona could continue to offer split lighting at the rear, too.

    In the current-model Kona, there’s a slim unit up higher on the tailgate that houses the brake lights and the running lights, as well as a lower unit that houses the reverse lights, indicators and the reflectors.

    Our spy photographers were able to capture a quick glimpse of the interior of the spied Kona prototype.

    It’s hard to make out any drastic changes but there appears to be a different-shaped steering wheel and a digital instrument cluster without a binnacle cowl.

    In terms of engine offerings, it’s unclear if there’ll be any changes to the existing lineup.

    It was previously reported that Hyundai has closed its engine development division, with a small group of engineers continuing to update existing internal-combustion engine designs.

    Powering the current-generation Kona in Australia is a 2.0-litre SmartStream naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine producing 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque. This is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

    All-wheel drive N Line and N Line Premium models use a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 146kW and 265Nm.

    This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while an eight-speed dual-clutch is used in the Kona N with its turbocharged 2.0-litre four.

    In other markets, the current Kona is also offered with a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder, while there’s a hybrid option available.

    It’s unclear if Hyundai is considering a next-generation Kona N at this stage.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Kona

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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