Concept Cars

Hyundai unveiling possible next-gen Tucson concept with a plug-in hybrid powertrain

The Vision T is likely a look at the design language of the new Hyundai Tucson.

Image courtesy of Hyundai

Next week, Hyundai will unveil a new plug-in hybrid SUV concept car. The model is the seventh in the automaker's series of Hyundai Design Center concepts that combines "emotional value" with "sensuous sportiness" in an application of the company's new design language.

"We pursue innovative solutions in design and add emotional value to our product experience through sensuous sportiness design language," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. The SUV concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain indicating its eco-lifestyle focus and its inherent balance with the environment in which it is driven.

Hyundai Vision T concept SUV car front PHEV The side profile of the design shows off a new vision for Hyundai's compact SUV.Image courtesy of Hyundai

The SUV has a theme of parametric fantasy and transcendent connectivity. All of the concept SUV's body structures are connected from the body to light or trim features. The overall look is a seamless take on design boundaries, perhaps signifying the future seamlessness of home, vehicle, entertainment, and transportation spaces.

Ambient light reflects off concave and convex surfaces to create a sense of tension, according to Hyundai.

The vehicle features an evolution of the Hidden Signature Lamp (as seen on the new Sonata) and features a parametric air shutter that deploys to help adjust aerodynamics and design. The shutter is closed when the vehicle is stationary then moves to effect airflow, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency.

Why might it be the next Tucson? Hyundai has already disclosed that this concept has the dimensions of a compact SUV. That ticks the Tucson box. There's also the name of the vehicle "Vision T" and the fact that nearly every SUV in the Hyundai lineup has either debuted or undergone a significant redesign in the last 18 months except Tucson. It's logical that Tucson would be up next and that it would evolve Hyundai's powertrain offerings given the success of the Kona EV.

Earlier, Hyundai announced that 13 new products would be making their way into the company's portfolio in the coming years including the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck.

No details about the car's plug-in hybrid powertrain are yet available. The full concept car will be revealed during AutoMobility LA.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Nikola Badger will debut with a tap for drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

When it comes to emissions, there's little that beats the cleanliness of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Though it has a mineral-rich battery pack, the model is fueled by hydrogen. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.

That water vapor can either be absorbed into the atmosphere or, in the case of the Nikola Badger, become part of a drinking fountain system, as reveled in a tweet earlier this week.

Take a look at the back end of the Badger. That's right, you will be able to tap that.

Nikola Badger The Nikola Badger can be reserved online today.Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

A recent tweet from Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton promised that a drinking fountain would be in the truck. Inn fact, the company had already narrowed it down to two designs and chosen the winner.

A hot a cold tap are promised, with safeguards to prevent accidental emissions and splashing.

Aside from the engineering, the question about the safety of drinking the water is a valid one. There are technologies, including hydropanels, that capture water vapor and turn it into drinking water. Other technologies, like Akvo AWGs, do similar things via a different, multi-step process.

Toyota does not recommend drinking the water vapor from its hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai, however Hyundai touts the ability to do so, even going so far as to creating a publicity stunt wherein Olympic swimmer Mireia Belmonte ran on a treadmill inside a plastic bubble while the Nexo's tailpipe was hooked up pumping in emissions.

Hyundai Nexo y Mireia Belmonte 30" www.youtube.com

The engineering behind taking the emitted water vapor from the truck's tailpipe to a drinking fountain has yet to be seen. A prototype of the Nikola Badger has yet to be seen by the public despite the fact that top-tier reservations for the model have already sold out.

The Nikola Badger is slated to debut later this year as part of the festivities surrounding Nikola World.

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The Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept will go into production as soon.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Traditional or Sportback SUV? Turbocharged, hybrid, or electric? These are the dilemmas facing modern Audi buyers. Now, the company is poised to add one more variable to the mix - the Audi Q4 E-Tron.

A concept version of the Sportback was just unveiled showcasing typical Audi and E-Tron styling, but in a package slightly different than the Q3 and Q5 SUVs buyers have become accustomed to.

The new Sportback is similar to the Q4 E-Tron Concept that debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Both the traditional SUV and Sportback versions are set to enter production, making it seven all-electric vehicles in the Audi lineup.

Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Q4 variants will be the first Audi models built on Volkswagen's modular electrification platform (MEB). It's this platform that will serve as the architecture for future Volkswagen Group EVs that are compact sized and larger.

Despite the fact that the Sportback looks longer thanks to its D-pillar design and horizontal splitter t the lower window edge, the two models share nearly identical measurements. They share the same 1.9-meter width and 2.77-meter wheelbase. The Q4 Sportback is slightly longer and wider with just one centimeter separating the models.

They're also technological twins. They each have two electric motors that deliver 225-kilowatts of power. All-wheel drive is standard. The models can go from zero to 62 mph in just 6.3 seconds and are restricted to a top speed of 111 mph.

Audi says that the model can go up to 310 miles of range (WLTP) when equipped with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models have a 279-mile range (WLTP).

The interior of the models focuses on sustainable solutions to traditional appointments. The floor covering is made of recycled materials and instead of chrome-plated metal decor frames, the surfaces are covered with a high-quality multi-layer paint finish. Still, it's meant to be luxurious with four seats with integrated head restraints that are upholstered with Alcantara material manufactured and double seams stitched with thick yarn.

A list of features in the two concept vehicles includes a head-up display, 12,3-inch infotainment touch screen, and mobile phone charging cradle.

Audi is expecting the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron to go into production next year.

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