Say what you will about the Kona, but you give credit to Hyundai for having the courage to come out with such a bold design. The little crossover is about to get a nip and tuck to avoid a midlife crisis, and today the South Korean brand is providing a first look at what the 2021 model year has in tow for the funky CUV.

The full-LED split headlights are sharper than before in both upper and lower clusters, and even the regular Kona appears to have a sportier-looking front bumper. Step up to the N Line and there’s a mesh grille design, beefier air intakes, and three “nostrils” reminiscent of those little air intakes Audi installs on the A1 Sportback. We’re hoping those are actually functional and not just for show, but we might be in for a disappointment what with the recent trend of faux design elements.

Hyundai Kona Facelift: sketch of the new front
Hyundai Kona Facelift: headlights and daytime running lights seen from the side

Another difference between the normal and the N Line is the placement of the Hyundai badge. It’s located at the top of the bumper, flanked by the headlights, on the standard Kona whereas the spicy version has the badge front and center on the grille. By the looks of it, the normal model is going to eschew the thin horizontal slot of the pre-facelift model where it’s located between the grille and hood.

That is all Hyundai is willing to reveal for the time being, with the press release only mentioning the redesigned front skid plate lends the crossover an “armored appearance.” More details regarding the design will be disclosed in the following weeks, but there’s still no word about the fully-fledged Kona N. It’s unclear it will be revealed alongside the lesser trims or the performance derivative will arrive at a later date.

When it does eventually come, expect the Kona N to offer 275 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine working together with an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. As for the warm N Line teased here, logic tells us it will get the same 201-hp 1.6-liter engine as the recently introduced Elantra N Line.

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Hyundai Motor teases sharp new Kona and Kona N Line SUVs

·         The new Kona receives urban and sporty styling updates to strengthen its unique identity
·         The new Kona N Line doubles down on sportiness with additional aerodynamic exterior detailing
Offenbach, 26 August 2020 – Hyundai Motor has shared a glimpse of its upcoming new Kona and Kona N Line SUVs that express Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness global design identity. 

Wider stance & Sleeker look

The new Kona gets a wider stance and a shark-inspired nose that gives the model a sleeker look. Upgraded daytime running lamps (DRL) give it a high-tech, sophisticated style. Front skid plate and bumper add to its armored appearance.

The first Kona N Line

The new Kona N Line receives a more aerodynamic design with low-set air intakes and a more aggressive front bumper, complemented by corner fins and lean crease lines. The N Line model offers an attractive entry point to the N Brand and expands Kona’s appeal to a broader range of customers.

More design details on the new Kona and Kona N Line will be revealed in the coming weeks.