Hyundai 45 concept that the Korean automaker unveiled today at the Frankfurt auto show gives us a glimpse of both future design direction and a potential future electric vehicle. It also celebrates the founding of the Hyundai Motor Company 45 years ago. The brand’s current EV offerings include the Kona Electric SUV and the Ioniq hatchback.
Sharp lines stand in contrast to the more rounded styling of today’s Hyundais, and the lack of door handles and exterior mirrors give the 45 concept a very smooth, futuristic appearance. LED lights serving as the head- and taillamps are arranged in to provide a three-dimensional effect, and additional lighting elements on the side of the vehicle provides a quick way to check the vehicle’s state of charge upon approach.
The 45 Concept’s cabin looks downright Scandinavian in its design, with light-colored wood making up the bottom part of the curved dashboard and serving as the backs of both the front and rear seats. The driver sits before a very large digital panel that spans two-thirds the length of the dashboard.
The long wheelbase and short overhangs, and the flat floor, all typical EV characteristics, allow us to create a vehicle with the space of a C-segment car on a more compact hatchback overall length, and to create an interior that is more like a living space or a beautiful lounge,” says Lee. “And the use of natural light from the roof – which has shades for adjusting glare – and the indirect interior lighting create a warm mood, which is so important. Connectivity and technology is cold. We wanted to make it more inviting.
Entering and leaving the car are aided by front and rear doors that slide open to create a wide, uninterrupted opening. In a nod to the past, the front seats also swivel toward the open door, a feature that made it to production on some 1960s and 1970s vehicles.
Instead of conventional doors, the 45’s slide fore and aft (like the rear doors on a minivan) to gain access to a cabin as minimalistic as the outside, with textile-upholstered swivel lounge seats, open-pore wood trim, and a wide screen extending from behind the wheel to the middle of the dashboard. The adaptive and airy cabin has autonomous operation in mind, with interior space optimized by placing the batteries low in the floor and away from the cockpit.
The concept also makes innovative use of lighting, and features a hidden camera system that works on a turntable (or like a Gatling gun) to rotate into position and keep the lenses clean.