Hyundai was seen testing the next generation Kona EV outside the Kia Hyundai testing center in Germany. Our spies had previously sent us photos of the plug-in hybrid version of the Kona, but this is the first time they have captured the all-electric variant, which should debut sometime in 2023.
If the upcoming Kona Electric is anything like the new Kia Niro EV, which is essentially the old car but with a significant exterior and interior makeover (and a lot less torque), then it’s safe to assume that cosmetic and tech changes will be what differentiates the new and old models. Even the location of the charging port will be exactly the same on the new vehicle - you can see there’s a camouflage flap on the front fascia.
Gallery: 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric spied testing
The battery pack will also most likely be the same 68 kWh (64 kWh usable) unit that powers the current model and the range gains will be minimal. Power output for the top version will stay at 201 horsepower, but if it’s like the new Niro EV, torque will go down dramatically, from 395 Nm (291 pound-foot) to just 255 Nm (188 pound-foot).
The biggest change will be the Tucson SUV-inspired exterior makeover that will completely transform the look of the Kona and Kona EV. The prototypes’ camouflage isn’t all that revealing, but we can see the vehicle has a slightly more SUV-like appearance than the current model, as well as a very strong sharp crease that goes along its side.
It will therefore have much more angular styling than the current Hyundai Kona, and as for the interior, well, you can expect that to take a lot from the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 models. Kia has done exactly the same, giving its revamped Niro EV an interior that looks a whole lot like what we’ve seen in the Kia EV6.