The Hyundai Kona is but a couple of years old, and there’s already an update on the way. The South Korean automaker teased the redesigned faces for the standard Kona and the spunky Kona N, revealing that the subcompact crossover is about to get provocative. The Hyundai logo moves from the grille to the leading edge of the front fascia. That change eliminates the thin slot found on current models. At the edges, instead of five distinct elements forming the DRLs, LED strips form angled, almost stern, brows. A narrower, wider grille sits above a full-width bumper with vertical vents at the flanks. Hyundai says the new face is “shark-inspired,” a contrasting full-width upper trim piece and stylized brackets below the bumper helping express the predatory inspiration. The automaker says the crossover will get a wider stance, and a front skid plate will “add to its armored appearance.” So … an armored shark. What’s not to like?
The Kona N sharpens the edge of the standard car. The Hyundai logo holds steady in the grille on the N model, making room for a three-section slot near the car’s leading edge. An even thinner upper grille is separated by a full-width bumper from a lower grille and what appear to be a set of side intakes, getting plenty of air to whatever ends up being placed in the engine bay. That should either be the high-output 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Veloster N with anywhere from 250 to 275 horsepower, or the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 290 horsepower planned for the Sonata N-Line and Kia K5 GT. We’ve seen spy shots of the Kona N being tested with a Cupra Ateca, which is a 300-hp all-wheel-drive crossover of Spanish origin. Shifting is likely handled by a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Other Kona N traits gleaned from prototypes are fancy rims that are probably 19-inchers, big Brembo brakes, a hatch spoiler with a triangular CHMSL, and two large exhaust tips.
Now that the teasing has begun, the official reveal can’t be too far away.