|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
Always reinventing, always revolutionizing, Hyundai’s research and development (R&D) centers around the globe are constantly designing new concept cars or prototypes every year to benchmark its contemporary drives. While not all concept cars end being mass produced, many become test-beds or inspirations for new car designs and features that serve true to the purpose of improving automotive technology, and ultimately, our way of driving.
One recently launched Hyundai prototype that has piqued the interest of car aficionados and the motoring public is the i-oniq.
With is debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the i-oniq’s innovative design hinted at Hyundai’s future directions in sports coupe design. While keeping to the company’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language, it gives a new spin to energy efficiency and nature-friendly engine technology.
New Design Direction
Designed and developed at Hyundai’s R&D Center in Germany, the i-oniq gives Fluidic Sculpture a whole new European treatment, melding Hyundai’s fluidic character lines with bold and powerful contours and technology to convey a sports-luxury hatch that excels not only in aesthetics but also functionality.
Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre explains this fluidic-muscular treatment in the i-oniq’s exterior: “(The) two arched curves are the key theme behind i-oniq, creating a strong and playful contrast between sharp character lines and soft but muscular features. The profile lines of the front fender run from front to back, emphasizing i-oniq’s coupe appearance, while offering maximum visibility to occupants.”
Tell-tale signs of this concept car’s ultra-modern design are also revealed in the “penthouse roof” and innovative car doors that open up to the side. The doors are aerodynamically designed for nimbleness, and ergonomically designed to ensure more cabin space for rear passengers and for easy entry and egress.
Fitted seamlessly into the body-kit are LED headlights, providing illumination especially at night or low visibility weather albeit adding a touch of luxury to the i-oniq’s advanced design.
Strictly-applied design concepts fit the i-oniq’s cabin space to complement its futuristic exterior and to increase driver and passenger comfort.
Its LED-lighted, resin-coated dashboard, steering wheel, and center console are placed strategically near the driver for enhanced driving and control over user-interface components.
A floating infotainment cluster for navigation, entertainment, and other applications has a built-in background display to heighten driving convenience.
Unlike other sports drives that usually just seats two and have limited space in the rear, the i-oniq is designed to look like a cozy lounge!
A Revolutionary Powerhouse
A flagship for future sports segments, the i-oniq is powered by a 1-liter, 3-cylinder gas engine that can generate a maximum 61 ps or 45 kW. For added fuel efficiency and power, its engine is mated to a lithium-ion electric motor that can produce up to 109 ps or 80 kW. On electric mode, the i-oniq can travel 120 km and up to 700 km with the assistance of the petrol engine while emitting only some 45 g/km of carbon dioxide.