SEOUL, South Korea – Hyundai unveiled the 45, a battery-powered electric vehicle concept, at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show to show off a new era of the company’s automotive design focused on electrification, autonomous technology, and intelligent design.
The car, Hyundai says, has put a twist on a 45-year-old icon, the Hyundai Pony Coupé Concept, to introduce an entirely new in-car experience for self-driving vehicles.
”Taking a look to the past,” Hyundai says, ”is essential for moving forward and the dramatic exterior styling of the 45 excites the imagination and draws inspiration from the vehicle that established Hyundai’s design DNA, the 1974 Pony Coupé Concept.”
‘FUTURE THROUGH HERITAGE’
The 45 is defined, the automaker says, by its monocoque-style body and aerodynamic lightweight design inspired by aircraft of the 1920s. The car’s name, we’re told, also owes itself in part to the 45º angles at the front and rear that Hyundai says, ”form a diamond silhouette that further foreshadows the design direction of future EV models”.
Sang Yup Lee, senior vice-president and head of the Hyundai Design Centre, said: “As an icon of Hyundai, the 45 reveals how Hyundai heads towards the future through heritage. Through the 45, built on our design language ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, Hyundai wants to present its vision on how to reshape people’s in-car lifestyle in the era of electrification and autonomous driving.”
New technology is said to be visible in the 45’s design. At the bottom of the doors a special garnish highlights its long-range battery capability and, through active diode lights, drivers can intuitively know how much longer they can drive even before they get in the car.”
Hyundai’s design team has taken cabin space and evolved it into a living space inspired by furniture design. The minimalist cabin uses wood, cloth and leather ”to create a warm atmosphere, relaxing and spacious”. Lounge-style seats that can rotate to face other passengers or front passengers can use the infotainment system through a projection-beam that replaces a single central touchscreen with a series of displays and functions sunk into the facia.
Batteries and motors are below the passenger compartment, set throughout the car’s floor, the latter covered by a comfortable carpet, and the seats swivel towards occupants as they open the door.
”Clean lines, ergonomic placement of controls, and a high-end electronics feel in the cabin further enhance the feeling of space,” Hyundai says, ”while reinforcing the simplistic modernity of the 45’s design.
”The car re-imagines load space in a range of novel ways, among them door-mounted device pockets, by introducing a horizontally elongated shape that allows books or tablet PCs to be stored.”