The sneaky pics that were published by Autoweek confirm expectations that the little high-rider will wear a striking design to set it apart from other strong rivals in the competitive market, including the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and more recent Toyota C-HR.
An exact Australian arrival date is yet to be confirmed but the latest addition to the Hyundai stable is expected in the third quarter of this year, which cannot come soon enough for the South Korean car maker, which is very late to the potentially lucrative party.
The release of unofficial photos breaks the monotony of the company’s teaser campaign that had already revealed two shady and inconclusive images, including views of split headlights with slim LED daytime running lights, the Hyundai cascading grille and the Kona’s nose, which has a Jeep Cherokee-esque feel.
Taking design cues from its Mazda CX-3 competitor, plastic cladding will frame the front and rear wheels and lights, and a contrasting roof follows the small SUV trend already seen in the Suzuki Vitara and Toyota C-HR.
Hyundai already has a small SUV offering in other markets, but the Kona will be the first for the Western market, and is expected to be based on the all-new Hyundai i30, with the SR variant’s 1.6-litre direct injection four-cylinder turbo a hopeful inclusion.
Hyundai has previously confirmed the Kona will offer a two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variant.
The Kona is anticipated to have more generous proportions than its fellow small SUV challengers, and “offer customers a true SUV experience,” as previously stated by the carmaker.
A global reveal was previously expected in weeks or months, but given the appearance of these new images, the company may decide to bring the official proceedings forward to an earlier date.