UPDATE: Live photos of the Hyundai 45 Concept from its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show have been added to the photo gallery below.
When Hyundai teased its new electric concept back in August, we had the feeling it’s going to be a pretty special study. It turns out, our assumptions were correct as the brand’s new 45 concept is a rather interesting and good-looking prototype. Not only that but it also serves a very important role for the company, previewing the future design direction of its production EVs. But we’ll get to that later.
The somewhat weird name of the concept actually has a pretty simple explanation – the study takes a look at Hyundai’s past, where exactly 45 years ago it presented the Pony Coupe Concept. The connection between the two is probably most visible at the front where the 45 concept reinterprets its predecessor’s distinctive lattice radiator grille with what Hyundai describes as “kinetic cube lamp” design.
The name 45 also stands for one more thing – the 45-degree angles at the front and rear, forming “a diamond-shaped silhouette that further foreshadows the design direction of future EV models.” The South Korean manufacturer also says “the iconic character” of the study is defined by its “monocoque-style body, aerodynamic and light-weight design inspired by aircrafts from the 1920s.”
As mentioned above, with the new concept, Hyundai is previewing the design of its future production electric models and is also highlighting future technological developments that “may influence” forthcoming production vehicles.
These include the so-called Camera Monitoring System – basically, a system that replaces the side mirrors with small cameras and tries to overcome visibility challenges caused by dirt gathering on the mirror by using an embedded turntable module, which rotates the lens past a brush.
While the exterior is minimalistic and retro-styled, the cabin is an entirely different world. The interior embodies Hyundai’s Style Set Free strategy, which allows for personalization, and is said to be inspired by the world of furniture design. Being an autonomous concept means the front seats can rotate to face other passengers. The infotainment system features a projection-beam interface, which replaces the central touchscreen display with a number of smaller displays integrated into the dashboard.