Compact crossover concept opens up and illuminates as it drives.
See this crossover right here? It's a new concept that Hyundai calls the Vision T. It's a plug-in hybrid and the seventh in a series of show cars to come out of the Hyundai Design Center. But when we look at it – pleasing as it is on the eyes – what we see is the Tucson of tomorrow.
Unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show today, the Vision T is described as a compact SUV – which in Hyundai terms means the Tucson. And though it's larger than the current model, it's nowhere as big as the midsize Santa Fe (even if the wheelbase is closer to the Palisade's).
Sizing classification aside, the Vision T cuts a handsome profile, applying similar design cues from last year's Le Fil Rouge concept to a taller form. It's a design language that Hyundai calls Sensuous Sportiness, and looks pretty good on the tall frame, coated in a subdued hue of matte green with metallic accents and the typical show car's oversized wheels.
Its face is more than just pretty, though: it's dynamic, too. And we don't just mean that it looks like it's moving while sitting still. We mean it actually adapts to motion. The grille, for example, is made up of individual elements that open up in sequence as the vehicle picks up speed.
The headlamps illuminate from their static dark matte chrome when the engine's turned on, and the taillights and emblems light up and power down in sequence as well. As to what constitutes that powertrain, we don't know. All Hyundai is saying is that it's a plug-in hybrid.
That's a powertrain configuration that Hyundai currently offers only on the Sonata and Ioniq, with the smaller Kona straddling the divide (here at any rate) with conventional internal-combustion and all-electric versions. But it's something that Hyundai's contemplated adding to the Tucson's stable before, and could come as a welcome addition to the next-generation crossover's powertrain lineup.