Hyundai proves its concepts make it to production.
Over the last few years, Hyundai has produced some stunning designs that have helped the Korean automaker stand out from the competition. But while many outlandish concepts never make it to production, many of Hyundai's recent production models were directly inspired by concept cars showcasing bold designs and new technologies. Now, Hyundai is looking back at its most inspirational concept cars, giving us an insight into how the design cues have carried over to production models.
Back in 2012, Hyundai debuted the i-oniq concept at the Geneva Motor Show, an electric sport hatchback with a range-extending gasoline engine. It was the first car to feature the company's Cascading Grille, which is a signature design element of its current production cars. It also inspired the Hyundai Ioniq, which launched four years later as the world's first car with three electrified powertrains.
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Hyundai unveiled the Intrado Concept to show its vision of how cars will meet future mobility needs. Its name is derived from the underside of an aircraft's wing, while its distinctive, aerodynamic shape features a minimalist design. The Intrado influenced the design of the Hyundai Kona, which launched in 2017 as the automaker's first subcompact SUV.
Two years later, Hyundai revealed the RN30 at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, a radical rally-inspired racing concept. Based on the i30, it was developed in close collaboration with Hyundai Motorsport, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center and Hyundai Motor's Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division.
The RN30's exterior design features a 'floating' fender over each wheel that enhances its aerodynamic performance in combination with the side splitters. The RN30 inspired design elements of the i30 N and the i30 N TCR such as the triangular lighting and headlight outline and Performance Blue exterior color, as well as the use of a roll cage instead of a bench, and the N-mode button.
To showcase its commitment to fuel cell vehicle development, Hyundai presented the futuristic FE Fuel Cell Concept at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show featuring a minimalist, clean design, a stylish rear air foil and integrated vents. A few months later, the Nexo arrived as Hyundai's second-generation fuel cell vehicle with striking design features carried over from the FE Fuel Cell Concept.
At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai presented the Le Fil Rouge concept car influenced by the Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept from 1974 to show how the brand's past, present and future designs are all connected. It features a fastback body style, a long wheelbase, large wheels and short overhangs and was the first concept to showcase Hyundai's bold Sensuous Sportiness design language. Design cues have carried over to the stunning eighth-generation Sonata and the seventh-generation Elantra.
Last year, Hyundai unveiled the 45 EV concept at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show as a homage to the brand's heritage reimagined for the future, previewing Hyundai's focus on electrification and autonomous technology.
It's a modern interpretation of the Hyundai Pony Concept that celebrated its 45th anniversary at the time, while its diamond-shaped silhouette previews the design direction of Hyundai's future EV models.
At last year's 2019 LA Auto Show, Hyundai revealed the Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept. Featuring styling cues once again inspired by Sensuous Sportiness design language such as a long hood and short overhangs, it previews the future design direction of the Tucson compact SUV.
Finally, the sleek Hyundai Prophecy concept was revealed in March this year. In contrast to the 45, it features smooth curves and flowing lines, with virtually no sharp angles or hard edges, and will inspire the next-generation Ioniq.