2023 Hyundai Kona spied with less camouflage

Prototypes of the larger, second-generation Hyundai Kona continue to shed camouflage ahead of an expected reveal in 2023.


The upcoming, second-generation Hyundai Kona crossover is starting to take shape as more camouflage gets stripped away.

Our spy photographers have captured a Kona prototype towing a large trailer ahead of an expected reveal sometime in 2023.

Codenamed the SX2, it’s likely the new-generation Kona will continue to offer petrol, hybrid, and all-electric powertrains.

The current Hyundai Kona is available locally with three different petrol-powered drivetrains, including the turbocharged 2.0-litre of the Kona N, as well as two electric drivetrains.

There are additional petrol powertrains available in other markets, as well as diesel and hybrid offerings.

The most obvious change with this new-generation Hyundai crossover is it will become larger than the current model and compete more closely with rivals such as the Kia Seltos.

This also gives some breathing room to the smaller, i20-based Bayon light SUV in Europe, and the Venue in markets like Australia.

This particular prototype wears a more-revealing camouflage wrap than past prototypes.

Although it’s partially covered, we know the new Kona will receive an evolution of the current model’s 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 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.

The rest of this particular prototype is still covered in heavy camouflage, but we can see the wheelbase appears to be longer.

Our spy photographers recently snapped a few interior photos of a different Kona prototype, revealing a very Ioniq 5-inspired dashboard.

Rumours have suggested the new Kona will not only replace the current car, but also the i30 hatchback in some markets.

Hyundai has already discontinued the i30 hatchback in South Korea and the U.S. due to poor sales. Its newer sedan counterpart, also known as the Elantra and Avante, is still on sale in both of these markets.

All Australian-spec models of the i30 hatchback, excluding the high-performance N, are still produced in South Korea, and all European-spec i30 hatchback models, including the N, are produced in the Czech Republic.

Buyers preferences have swung away from conventional passenger cars and more towards SUVs, forcing manufacturers to rethink their line-ups.

A Hyundai Australia spokesperson recently couldn’t comment on whether the next-generation Kona is going to replace the i30 hatchback when asked, although it would seem unlikely given that car’s sales success here.

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MORE: Everything Hyundai Kona

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Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an emerging automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Jack recently graduated from Deakin University and has previously competed in dance nationally. In his spare time, Jack likes to listen to hyperpop and play Forza Horizon.

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