At a time when many automakers are cutting down on their commitments to auto shows, Hyundai Motor came to this edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show determined to make as big an impact as possible.
The Korean automaker not only revealed the 45, an electric vehicle concept it teased a few weeks ago, it also unveiled the Veloster N ETCR, an electric race car as well as the all-new i10 and a special edition of i30N, called the Project C, a “more extreme” version of the race-inspired i30N.
The 45 draws its inspiration from Hyundai’s pony car past, specifically the Pony Coupe Concept, that debuted 45 years ago. The idea is that looking to the past is necessary to move forward, and the concept borrows from the exterior shape of the Pony concept from 1974.
“The iconic character of 45 is defined by its monocoque-style body, aerodynamic and light-weight design inspired by aircrafts from the 1920s,” the company noted. “The car’s name also owes itself in part to the 45-degree angles at the front and rear, forming a diamond-shaped silhouette that further foreshadows the design direction of future EV models.”
Today’s 45 concept retains the commitment to simplicity and clean lines of the mid-’70s concept while embracing Hyundai’s new focus on “Sensuous Sportiness.” Sensuous stands for enhanced emotional values that customers can experience through design, and Sportiness is determined to implement those values through innovative mobility solutions.
“As an icon of Hyundai, the 45 clearly reveals how Hyundai heads towards the future through heritage,” said SangYup Lee, senior vice president and the head of Hyundai Design Center. “Through the 45 built upon our design language ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, Hyundai wants to present our vision on how we want to reshape people’s in-car lifestyle in the era of electrification and autonomous driving.”
The new 45 reinterprets many of the original’s exterior design concepts, such as the distinctive lattice radiator grille on the original with a kinetic cube lamp design. By exhibiting a modernized fastback profile, 45 epitomizes stability and dynamism, characteristics accentuated by the vehicle’s significant width and forward-oriented posture, officials note.
The new 45 uses modern technology such as LED lights to keep it true to the original shape. It adapts modern technological elements like a hidden Camera Monitoring System to allow room for self-driving system applications, and other upcoming technologies to emphasize Hyundai’s open architecture for the future.
On the inside, the 45 embodies Hyundai’s “Style Set Free” strategy for future mobility that emphasizes personalizat
ion of design and function. As the new era of future mobility opens, Hyundai reimagines the in-car experience in a self-driven vehicle. The interior becomes a unique living space capable of transforming to accommodate a range of passenger lifestyle demands.
This car uses a powertrain of the future: an electric one with the batteries set throughout the car’s skateboard floor, allowing for a spacious interior. The model’s flat floor where the batteries are stored is nicknamed the ‘skateboard’ as it allows Hyundai to create a space that feels like a living room with new pieces of furniture. The floor is covered by a comfortable carpet, to further give off the sense of a living space, as well as reduce road noise.
In addition, the company electric future is going to extend to its motorsports group with the Veloster N ETCR. Development of the ETCR project mirrors Hyundai’s wider strategy for development of electric road cars, and further underscores Hyundai Motorsport’s high-performance capabilities.
Designed and built at the company’s Alzenau headquarters, the Veloster N ETCR is fully electric, rear-wheel-drive with a mid-mounted motor – two firsts for a Hyundai Motorsport project – in line with ETCR regulations.
The project will be integrated alongside the company’s continued commitments as a manufacturer within the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as well as its Customer Racing efforts with the i20 R5, i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR.
Of less impact, or none, on the U.S., Hyundai held the world premiere of its new i10 as well as the performance N version. The Europe-only i10 not only features a new-look dynamic design, but also a host of connectivity upgrades, including Connected Car and Bluelink, making it a leader in its segment.
The All-New i10 embodies Hyundai’s core values, combining assurance and performance. It is a car that embodies Hyundai’s approach to making mobility affordable while retaining high technical standards, the company noted.
Last, Hyundai showed the i30 N Project C limited edition, a lighter, lower and more extreme version of the critically acclaimed i30 N, a performance-oriented model for Europe. The Project C interpretation of the brand’s first-ever high-performance model intensifies the i30 N experience using “added lightness” and even more responsive handling.
The i30 N Project C’s unique specifications include clearly visible carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body parts lacquered smooth to show the perfect carbon fiber weave. The front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills are all made from CFRP, making the special edition model not just lighter but also tighter to the tarmac at speed while being stunning to look at.
Despite featuring a larger frontal area and standing lower to the ground, the Project C drag coefficient of 0.32 remains the same as on the i30 N. Meanwhile, dedicated aerodynamic touches placed high and low on Project C also contribute to an exhilaratingly quicker but even more steady drive for confident curve slicing. The pocket rocket achieves a top speed of 250 mph.
“The i30 N Project C is the next emotional step in following the success of the i30 N, demonstrating that Hyundai is pushing the envelope even more to excite motorsport enthusiasts,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division.
“With this limited edition, we have strategically reduced the weight of the car where it can help most, made its overall handling more immediate and optimized its design for even greater performance.”