Say what you will about the Hyundai Kona, but it's certainly doesn't look like your run-of-the-mill crossover. That can be both a good or a bad thing depending on where you stand on its quirky design. Having been around since 2017, with a facelift launched in late 2020, it's only natural our spies have now immortalised a prototype of the next generation undergoing testing.
The second-gen Kona was seen in Sweden riding on Autec wheels rather than an OEM set, which isn't necessarily a rare sight, but a bit unusual nonetheless. It's no longer Hyundai's cheapest crossover in Europe where the Bayon has taken the role of the entry-level high-riding model. They're both roughly the same size, but our spies are telling us the vehicle pictured here is bigger. It might mean Hyundai wants to separate the two and avoid a potential overlap that could cannibalise sales.
Gallery: 2023 Hyundai Kona spy photos
The prototype has a combustion engine as denoted by the exhaust tip tucked away under the bumper, on the passenger side. Hybrid and EV configurations will likely be available once again, which we can't say about the Bayon since it's a petrol-only affair. Peeking through the mesh disguise is a section of what looks to be a small taillight. We're tempted to believe there is a separate cluster mounted lower, akin to the current Kona.
At the front, separate cutouts in the camo suggest the Kona will continue to have split headlights. Going against the trend, the redesigned grille seems to be smaller since the visible upper camo is applied onto a section of the bumper. The spy shots showing the side profile reveal slightly more angular wheel arches and a speaker/twitter mounted inside on the A-pillar.
Due to the thick camouflage, Hyundai is unlikely to reveal the new Kona anytime soon. Our guess is the small crossover will premiere in late 2022 or early next year. Now, if the South Korean brand could launch the adorable pint-sized Casper outside of its home market, that would be swell...