Hyundai concept shows new design direction

Hyundai says design language exploits 4 fundamental car design elements

Published: July 24, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: July 28, 2018, 4:19 AM

Le Fil Rouge concept grille

North America will get a glimpse into future Hyundai designs when the company’s Le Fil Rouge concept debuts at the annual Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan.

Le Fil Rouge concept

Making its world debut at this past spring’s Geneva Motor Show, Le Fil Rouge takes Hyundai away from the “fluidic sculpture” design movement and into the “Sensuous Sportiness” era, which will drive design for the company’s entire model range. The name translates from French as “the red wire,” though Hyundai translates that loosely into “the common thread,” saying that it implies a belief in the connection between Hyundai’s past, present and future designs.

Venturing as far into the past the Pony, Le Fil Rouge is a re-imagining of the company’s first-ever concept, the Pony Coupe concept of 1974. It is also designates HDC-1, which is a dyslexic turn on the 1992 sporty targa coupe HCD-1 concept that set the look for the first Tiburon coupe of 1996.

Hyundai Pony Coupe concept

Hyundai says the design language exploits what the company sees as the four fundamental elements of car design: proportion, architecture, styling and technology.

Proportion: Hyundai says Le Fil Rouge creates proportional character based on the golden ratio (a common mathematical ratio that’s present in various forms both manufactured and natural), which in the concept car creates an aesthetically-pleasing, natural-looking form, with long wheelbase, large wheels and short overhangs

Le Fil Rouge concept

Architecture: Hyundai took a new approach it calls “light architecture,” which translates into a dynamic look depicting forward motion. The front and rear cabin pillars blend into the roofline to make it seem as though the profile were drawn using a single line.

Styling: concave and convex forms are orchestrated to provide the “sensuous” part of the design language, while the overall objective was to make the car instantly recognizable as a Hyundai. The look front and rear seems radical, but you can see hints of the current Hyundai design in it, with the man difference being that the hard-edged, upright cues have been softened, primarily around the front end with it’s ear-to-ear cascading grille “smile.” Lop off the corners to make room for low-profile headlights and you’re left with the large hexagonal grille in today’s cars.

Le Fil Rouge concept interior

Technology: though it won’t see the production line, the concept interior features re-vitalized wood and high-tech fabrics. A floating panoramic display uses touch technology to provide access to all the vehicle features.

It is unlikely that the concept will make it to production in this form, but many of its cues will be evidenced in future products.

Le Fil Rouge concept

It’s not a secret that Hyundai intends to remake the former Genesis coupe as a reworked coupe in the Hyundai line-up, rather than having it follow its sedan sibling to the new Genesis brand. Although the Le Fil Rouge concept is a sedan, could it give life to that future car?