Hyundai is presenting the next stage in the development of its design philosophy with the new Prophecy concept. Originally planned for a debut at the cancelled Geneva Motor Show, the study is now making its online debut to preview the direction in which the South Korean manufacturer will continue to evolve its Sensuous Sportiness corporate design path.
The brand boldly claims the sporty silhouette of the concept, combined with its short overhangs and prominent rear fascia, creates the “ultimate automotive form.” The showcar rides on a new platform for electric vehicles, which allows for the use of “pristine surfaces and pure volume in combination with aesthetic harmony and functionality.”
Gallery: Hyundai Prophecy concept
“We have brought to life yet another icon that establishes a new standard for the EV segment as well as pushing Hyundai’s design vision to even broader horizons,” SangYup Lee, director of Hyundai’s design centre, comments. “A part of that expansion is what we call Optimistic Futurism, a design concept embodied by Prophecy. With Optimistic Futurism, our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles.”
Taking after the 45 concept from last year, the Prophecy incorporates some of the ideas of its predecessor but takes them to the next step. For example, pixel lamp lights are now used for the headlamps, taillights, and spoiler, bringing associations to the battery pack that provides power for the electric powertrain. Hyundai says the pixelated lamps will be carried over to production models of the brand relatively soon.
The Prophecy is envisioned as an autonomous machine and there’s no traditional steering wheel inside the cabin. Instead, there’s a pair of joysticks that provide “a completely new yet reassuringly familiar and intuitive driving experience.” This advanced human-machine interface also allows the driver to control other functions of the car easily and safely, claims the automaker.
- New concept EV takes Sensuous Sportiness design philosophy to the next level
- Concept EV expands Hyundai’s concept of Optimistic Futurism with the aim of forging an emotional connection between humans and automobiles
SEOUL/HIGH WYCOMBE, March 3, 2020 – Hyundai Motor Company unveiled its new concept EV, “Prophecy”, expressing the company’s latest design language.
The visionary concept clearly expresses Hyundai’s latest design philosophy, Sensuous Sportiness, expanding on the era-defining example set by last year’s “45” concept EV that stripped away complexity in favor of clean lines and minimalistic structures.
“Prophecy” follows suit with an iconic silhouette of perfect proportions that have been inspired by an aerodynamic design. Leveraging the extended wheelbase and shorter overhang, Hyundai’s designers have achieved the Ultimate Automotive Form, thanks to a new EV architecture defined by pristine surfaces and pure volume in combination with aesthetic harmony and functionality.
“We have brought to life yet another icon that establishes a new standard for the EV segment as well as pushing Hyundai’s design vision to even broader horizons,” said SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. “A part of that expansion is what we call Optimistic Futurism, a design concept embodied by ‘Prophecy’. With Optimistic Futurism, our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles.”
Sensuous Sportiness finds its full expression with the “Prophecy” exterior
The application of Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness design philosophy is evident in the voluptuous side section, which is like that of a perfectly weathered stone. It is cut by a clean and simple One Curve streamline which extends from front to rear with minimalist restraint. This underlines the timelessness of its design. The dynamic and elegant boat-tail line created by the rear quarter panels appear to propel the form forward even when it is standing still.
Furthermore, the design provides excellent aerodynamics, a characteristic indispensable to EVs. The propeller shapes embedded in the vehicle’s wheel not only affirm this trait, they also compel air to be drawn in and flow down the side of the body like water over a stone. The integrated rear spoiler complements this effect by harnessing downforce that aids vehicle stability when travelling at speed.
The transparent acrylic material provides a clear view of the functional components inside. This intentional design feature is integrated in the spoiler, headlamp and in the camera monitoring system (CMS), calling attention to the functional beauty of the components.
The pixel lamp lights, which were first seen on the ‘45’, take a step foward. This progressive lighting technology is integrated into the headlamp, tail lamp and spoiler, calling to mind the abundant energy contained in the vehicle’s battery cells. Pixelated lamps will be carried forward as a signature design element in future Hyundai models.
Prophecy’s identity as an EV extends to the underbody. A wide air intake that is installed below the bumper takes fresh air to cool the batteries more effectively, delivering an even more eco-friendly EV to customers.
The “Prophecy” interior realizes the benefits of an EV platform
The interior of “Prophecy” underlines the advantages of using the stretched cabin of an EV platform. Instead of a conventional automotive interior, a lifestyle space of refinement and comfort provides customers with a warm welcome.
“Prophecy” also utilises autonomous driving technology. Instead of a steering wheel, joysticks provide a completely new yet reassuringly familiar and intuitive driving experience. By offering two joysticks that can pivot left and right, one in the centre console and another on the door trim, drivers are able to control the vehicle from a position of comfort. Furthermore, drivers have access to a wide variety of functions, which can be selected via the joysticks’ integrated buttons. Ultimately, this human-machine interface enhances passenger safety.
Design changes that have been enabled by the use of joysticks offer more visual freedom to passengers. In Relax mode, passengers have virtually zero visual obstacles. In a comfortably reclined position, all that the passengers see is the horizontal pillar-to-pillar display and the wing-shaped dashboard. In this mode, the dashboard swivels, allowing for a spacious interior and seat position from which passengers are able to enjoy content shown on the display.
With “Prophecy,” Hyundai has created an interior environment where eco-friendly design and material selection have been combined to demonstrate the company’s vision for EVs of the future. External intakes placed at the bottom of the side doors allow air to circulate through Clean Air Technology, providing a steady stream of purified air inside the vehicle. In addition, the treated air is circulated back out into the atmosphere as clean air.
The flow of clean air over the interior’s wool-based felt carpet is inspired by the flow of water in nature. The interior’s colours and materials compel passengers to take time to decompress, aided by low intensity ambient lighting, while gently soothing modulated colours encourage rest and relaxation.
The name “Prophecy” reflects the concept’s purpose, as it signifies a bright future for both Hyundai’s designs as well as innovative mobility solutions for the EV customers of tomorrow.