While not much detail is known about this sporty crossover, a lucky encounter in Korea has revealed enough interesting information to keep us warm over the winter.
Hyundai has just revealed the second-generation Kona, although there are still many unknowns about the subcompact crossover. The 2024 Kona will launch with three powertrain choices: electric, hybrid, and ICE. The latter also comes in a sportier guise as an N-Line version, keeping in line with what the current generation offers. Like the outgoing model, it will feature a unified platform, regardless of the propulsion system type.
There are marked differences, though; the most important one is that Hyundai gives the electric version more prominence. The 2024 Hyundai Kona is built on an electric platform instead of the ICE underpinning like the previous generation. This is likely to make the Kona EV a very efficient electric car and, at the same time, allow for clever packaging with plenty of space. On the other hand, a platform designed to carry a battery between the wheels might not prove a hit with combustion powertrains.
All these details, along with the technical bits, are yet to be revealed by Hyundai. The Korean carmaker was also parsimonious with the pictures of the new model, although it offered plenty of design sketches. Luckily, the guy from CarSceneKorea stumbled across a 2024 Hyundai Kona prototype in a parking lot. The car was wearing no disguise whatsoever, and there was plenty of time to inspect it thoroughly, so we were in for a treat.
According to CarSceneKorea, we’re looking at the N-Line version of Kona, which plays the sporty version of the crossover. If you’re unfamiliar with this trim from other Hyundai models, it is not a fully-fledged “N” performance car. Instead, it’s more like a design package with some modifications to look nimble and perhaps a firmer suspension to convey more sportiness, but it doesn’t feature other performance upgrades.
Of course, the YouTuber has seen the spy shots and official pictures, but seeing the Kona in the metal made a profound impression on him. Hyundai is on a roll with unconventional design, and we see the elements that debuted on the Grandeur becoming a signature for Hyundai models. We’re talking about the LED light bar stretching across the hood edge, named “Seamless Horizon” in Hyundai PR materials. This should make a bold statement on the road, especially at night.
The N-Line version is probably the biggest among the Kona versions, with the aerodynamically-shaped front bumper making the car around 30 mm (1.2 inches) longer than its siblings. This prototype features a dual-color body paint, with the wheel arches and the side skirts painted white, while the rest of the car is silver. This differs from the ICE Kona, which has black claddings over the wheel arches.
The rear hides some interesting surprises, which might indicate that this Kona N-Line would at least sound like an N model, if not drive like one. The rear diffuser has a red brake light in the middle, which is doubled by a regular brake light integrated into the aerodynamic spoiler. The exhaust features two pipes, and they look like they mean business. Could it be that Hyundai will put a punchier engine under Kona’s hood? We certainly hope so.