Hyundai has provided a glimpse of its future design direction, showing its latest concept car, ’Le Fil Rouge’, at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. The concept’s French-language name translates as ‘common thread’. While it marks a new beginning for Hyundai design, the name is a reflection of Hyundai’s belief that the brand’s past, present and future designs are all connected.
“‘Le Fil Rouge’ is a re-interpretation of Hyundai’s design DNA that originated from the brand’s historical Hyundai Coupe Concept in 1974,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and head of Hyundai Design Center. “Building on our long history of creating distinctive and sporty character in vehicles, we will open a new era for Hyundai design.”
“Our goal is to build a beloved brand by creating vehicles with heightened emotional value to reshape the landscape of car design. This is the foundation of our concept,” added Sang-yup Lee, Head of Hyundai Styling.
The new concept is an introduction to the brand’s latest approach in design: the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ theme will be embodied by all future Hyundai vehicles, ranging from sedans to SUVs. The goal of this new theme is to bring instinctive beauty, creating emotional value and desirability in Hyundai vehicles. The design mission is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements: proportion, architecture, styling and technology.
‘Le Fil Rouge’ creates a proportional character based on the golden-ratio – a common mathematical ratio found in nature – which enabled Hyundai designers to create an aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking composition that embodies charisma. Proportional uniqueness is achieved through a long wheel base, large wheels and short overhangs. A respectful dash-to-axle – the distance from front wheel center to base of windshield – provides a comfortable driving position, whilst a higher beltline completes the overall look.
With ‘Le Fil Rouge’, Hyundai took a new approach called ‘Light Architecture’, to integrate a progressive identity into the brand’s design heritage. Light Architecture generates a dynamic look and forward motion effect for the vehicle. The front and the rear pillars as well as the roof are seamlessly blended into the overarching silhouette of the car – as though the car is drawn with a single line.
The exterior and interior are smoothly merged by the ‘Tube Architecture’, keeping the exterior’s sensuous and sporty character consistent inside the vehicle. The Tube Architecture’s principle is to create the same emotional value inside and outside the vehicle, while also allowing for a lightweight profile.
The interior design differentiates between the needs of both the driver and passengers. The front passenger seat maximises comfort even on long-distance trips with more ample leg room, while the driver’s seat is designed to add to the fun on driving with optimised ergonomics. A wrap-around architecture emphasises depth, creating a calm, spacious and comfortable travel environment for everyone in the car.
Another goal of the team was to create a vehicle that is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai from a distance. This was achieved by creating a sensuous tension on the side through a harmonious blend of layered crisp lines and pure volumes. Concave and convex forms are carefully orchestrated to provide a sexy character. The concept’s distinctive ambience is also recognisable with a wide, layered front hood, combined with a further enhanced Cascading Grille. The next level of the Cascading Grille comes with a three-dimensional treatment, featuring parametric jewels inside, which gives the vehicle a commanding presence.
A core design principle for Hyundai designers was to create a design that enables a seamless experience of function. Inspired by aircraft ventilation, a two-way air ventilation system blows air over the curved surface of lightweight tube architecture. Revitalised wood and high-tech fabrics are used extensively throughout and sculpted into exquisite, sensuous forms. This evokes natural beauty with an emotional touch to add an airy feel to vehicle. Meanwhile, a panoramic floating display coupled with haptic technology sits in front of the driver, providing access to intuitive controls for climate control and other vehicle configurations.