"They've pulled off a magic trick."
Under the watchful eye of design visionary Luc Donckerwolke, the Hyundai Motor Group has been spewing out some fine-looking cars of late. Aside from the handsome Ioniq 5, several concepts have caused quite a stir in the past year. We've been shown the stunning Genesis X Speedium and, more recently, the delightfully retro N Vision 74.
The latter has caught the attention of former Ferrari and McLaren designer Frank Stephenson, who is seemingly besotted with the hydrogen-powered sports car. In his latest video, he takes a deep dive into the Korean concept's styling, noting, "it's about time something like this came to market."
Stephenson, whose resume includes the Ferrari F430, says his first impression of the N Vision 74 is that it looks like it "was born out of the ['70s]." The slim quad headlights lend the concept an identity, he says, adding that the shape of the hood is another distinctive trait. "The amount of slope between the base of the windscreen and the front of the hood is going to give you an enormous front-end view."
The acclaimed designer points toward the swollen wheel arches as a particularly exciting design trait. "This is almost one of the ultimate ways of designing a [sexy] car. It's sort of like an hourglass figure." Overall, Stephenson says the front end and side profile make it clear that the Hyundai is a dynamic vehicle with a sporty attitude.
From the rear, it's the prominent diffuser and wide backend that draws Stephenson in. "The diffuser is quite high, which means it's going to be very good for actual downforce." Overall, his first impression of the N Vision 74 is that it's a fine blend of past and future design elements. "For too long, we've had cars that play it too safe in terms of [safe designs] where it becomes almost bland and generic."
He says there's a clear connection between this and the 1974 Hyundai Pony concept, a vehicle designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. Unsurprisingly, Stephenson also draws parallels between the N Vision 74 and the Delorean DMC-12 sports car. From the front end, the resemblance is clear to see.
So, what's Stephenson's final verdict? Suffice to say, he's rather taken with the Korean concept. "I don't know about you, but I would have one of these now if I could." He moves on to the N Vision 74's identity, describing it as a magic trick. "From two different angles, [this car] seems to have two different [design] languages yet, at no point does it seem disconnected or fractured."
The concept is equal parts form and function - this isn't just a pretty face. The hydrogen-powered sports car boasts outputs of 679 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque, which translates into impressive performance, including a top speed north of 155 mph. What's more, Hyundai notes it should easily be able to travel more than 372 miles before the hydrogen cells require replenishing. Bring on the future.