Kez Casey | May 10, 2017

Hyundai has begun teasing carefully cropped images of its first global small SUV, to be called the Kona. However, before the big reveal, undisguised images of the new vehicle have snuck out online.

Spotted by Autoweek in Portugal under the bright lights of a TV commercial shoot, the Kona reveals that it will feature a heavy dose of plastic cladding around the front and rear wheel arches, extending into the front and rear bumpers and encasing the light housings.

As revealed in Hyundai’s earlier preview images the Kona breaks its headlights into lower main beams with distinct high-set running lights, arranged around Hyundai’s new brand-wide cascading grille design.

Following the latest small SUV trend the Kona also features a contrasting roof - likely to be an option rather than fitted to all models - following in the footsteps of rivals like the Toyota C-HR, Renault Captur and Suzuki Vitara.

Beneath the wild plastic-clad exterior the Kona will combine the mechanical and structural components from Hyundai’s i20 and i30 hatches.

Although it isn’t Hyundai’s first small SUV, unlike the market-specific ix25 and Creta models available overseas, the Kona will be tailored to suit Western market trends and will include advanced safety equipment expected by established markets.

The Kona also gives a glimpse of how the next Santa Fe might look, and while the large SUV is expected to toe a more conservative line, the split headlight front and cascading grille will be transferred across.

Following these leaked images expect Hyundai to be more forthcoming with details about its new small SUV, with a public debut expected within the next couple of months, most likely at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

MORE: Hyundai News and Reviews

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