Hyundai has released a set of teaser images for the facelifted iteration of its compact SUV, the Kona along with an accompanying N Line variant – a full-on performance Kona N is in the works – where the images partially show the car’s front end that has been redesigned to gain more visual width. This is the latest application of the brand’s Sensuous Sportiness design identity, the carmaker said.

The facelifted Kona wears a ‘shark-inspired nose’ that aids in adding said visual width, while the main headlamps are now a trio of three-dimensional elements on each side, replacing the current model’s round lights framed within trim surrounds at each front corner. The new grille design is comprise of larger pins, which are now also more three-dimensional.

The fascia has been further cleaned up with the removal of the inboard foglamps that were within the lower intake, which is now larger and slightly closer in size to the main grille on the N Line variant. At the upper end, the slim daytime running lights remain albeit with redesigned internal elements.

N Line version (left) offers a style variation. Click to enlarge

Meanwhile, the central letterbox intake of the current model has been resculpted into a trio of smaller inlets between the DRLs on the N Line and relocates the brand logo to the centre of the main grille, while the standard style does without the top intakes. Along the lower corners of the bumper, the N Line variant gets an additional horizontal element below each main lamp.

In Malaysia, the Kona has been sighted in its current form on roads ahead of a local market debut that will likely take place soon. The compact SUV was previewed at KLIMS18 with the 1.6 litre Gamma T-GDI powertrain with seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, which is the most likely combination that Malaysia will receive.

This will enter the B-segment SUV field, where the players from Japanese makes include the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and the Toyota C-HR. The Kona has also been slated to offer a fully electric version that will be offered for our market via leasing through official channels, and will similarly get full aftersales support from the manufacturer, as with its internal combustion siblings.

The petrol versions will kick off proceedings in Malaysia, and based on the kit list from the 2018 example, this could include a premium sound system by Krell, wireless charging and Hyundai’s full suite of active safety and driver assist systems. Of course, local market specification can only be known for sure once details have been made official.

GALLERY: 2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo