New 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric gets bold new design

Technical details for the compact electric SUV will be revealed in March

New Hyundai Kona Electric front

The all-new Hyundai Kona Electric has been revealed and will be arriving later this year. The styling is just as polarising as the original Kona, while the new cabin design appears to have been influenced by the South Korean brand's Ioniq 6 saloon.

Technical details are due to be revealed in March, but Hyundai has already confirmed the new Kona Electric will be sold alongside petrol and hybrid versions of the compact SUV. Hyundai says it focused on the EV first and foremost, allowing the team to bring “tech-centric design thinking to all Kona variants”.

The design is a clear evolution from the outgoing Hyundai Kona, with similarly slim LED daytime running lights, which this time merge to form a full-width front light bar. The charging port sits below this, as do the headlights. The petrol and hybrid versions are separated from the electric model with a slightly different lower grille arrangement; the sporty N Line trim gets a more aggressive look and bigger wheels. 

That front light bar is replicated at the rear, with the rest of the tail-lights housed separately – just as the headlights are on the nose of the car. Large lettering marks out the Kona nameplate, sitting beneath the recognisable Hyundai logo.

Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, presumably with Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, plus nav, media and trip information. The single panel also houses a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster – just as it does in the brand’s Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 models – with the system in the new Kona able to receive Over-the-Air (OTA) software updates from Hyundai, too. 

Hyundai says the cabin's ambient lighting “enhances the user experience”, while the steering wheel-mounted gear-shifter provides an “uncluttered layout” and frees up space on the centre console. We can also see the Kona has retained its physical climate controls, and features some physical buttons on the new three-spoke steering wheel as well.

The brand claims the “living space” is larger than before, saying the rear seats offer “maximum usability”. The wheelbase has been lengthened by 60mm, which should make the new Kona bigger in the back than before. Images show what looks like a completely flat floor in the rear, plus three rear belts meaning seating for five. Behind the second row is a “maximised cargo space” – again, hinting that the revised Kona will get a larger boot than its predecessor.

As we mentioned, Hyundai won’t be releasing any technical details about the new Kona Electric until March, though like the outgoing car it’s likely to lift much of its powertrain and battery technology from its Kia Niro sister car. The electric Niro EV has a 64.8kWh battery and a range of 285 miles – a figure we expect the Kona to match, at the very least.

Meanwhile, the new Kona Hybrid uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor for a total output of 139bhp and 265 Nm of torque – the sama as the latest Niro Hybrid. Fuel economy figures for the Hyundai haven't been released yet, but the Kia will do around 60mpg, with CO2 emissions of 107g/km.

The Kia Niro is also offered as a plug-in hybrid, but there is no suggestion a Hyundai Kona PHEV will join the range any time soon.

Pricing for the second-generation Hyundai Kona is still under wraps, but we expect the hybrid will start from less than £30,000. The Kona Electric is likely to cost around £35k, with top-spec versions commanding a premium.

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