Hopefully the traditionally dreary designs of Hyundai cars will soon be a thing of the past.
Hyundai is introducing its first subcompact crossover this summer with the Kona as a rival to the Nissan Juke. But before its full reveal it looks like we’re going to be fed bite-sized morsels of teaser images in the coming months. First we saw a close-up of a headlight, now this latest image gives us a look at the Kona’s fetching face shrouded in shadows. All we can say is that we hope this teaser campaign isn’t as unbearably long as the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s three-month long campaign.
Then again, we don’t think the Hyundai Kona is as eagerly anticipated as the Demon was, somehow. While Hyundai cars have been depressingly dreary in the past, future cars from the Korean manufacturer will adopt a bold new design identity, as highlighted by the attractive new Accent and the “progressive appearance” of the Kona which both sport Hyundai’s new Cascading Grille. The front styling is reminiscent of the Jeep Cherokee’s polarizing twin-headlamp design, with LED daytime running lights positioned above the lower LED headlights. Hyundai says this setup gives the Kona a “confident, progressive appearance with sleek and sharp shapes.”
Little else is revealed in the teaser, but our previous spy shots suggest that the Kona will have an aggressive appearance that could make it an alluring addition to the subcompact crossover market. “The bold front and rear are emphasized by the car’s wide stance and its voluminous, aggressive body styling,” Hyundai says. Hyundai insists that the Kona offers a true SUV experience compared to other subcompact crossovers which might as well be hatchbacks, with an elevated seating position for better visibility and a four-wheel drive option which improves the ride and handling. Powertrain details for the Kona have yet to be revealed.
However, previous reports have suggested the Kona will be based on the i20 and could be fitted with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the RM30 concept to produce 250-horsepower. If that’s the case, then the Kona may well live up to its exotic name, which is derived from a district on the Big Island of Hawaii, just as the Santa Fe, Tucson, and Veracruz are named after travel destinations. Expected to go on sale in America in 2018, the Kona is an important car for Hyundai in its mission to become the leading Asian automotive brand in Europe by 2021 – hopefully it won’t be too late for Hyundai to make its mark in the crowded subcompact crossover market.