Concept Cars

These nine concept cars shaped Hyundai's modern lineup

Hyundai, like every other automaker, uses concept cars to showcase what is next for their brand.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Concept cars give their audience a peek at what is to come from a brand, whether it's design, tech, materials, or powertrain innovation. They often push the boundaries between what is seen as allowable for today and what may be possible in the future. A trained eye can look past the glitz and glam to see what the true story of a concept car is.

Hyundai has presented a number of concepts in the last decade, all of which have shaped the automaker's current lineup. Scroll down to see them all.

2012 – i-oniq

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Ioniq just received a major refresh for the 2020 model year, three years after it debuted. But, it was at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show where the car got its first public nod.

There, Hyundai debuted the i-oniq concept, an electric sport hatchback with a range-extending petrol engine. Designed and developed at Hyundai's European R&D Center, it was the first car to feature the company's signature Cascading Grille.

The concept featured dynamic proportions that gave the car a functional shape rather than the looks of the Toyota Prius, which looks to be shaped by a wind tunnel rather than a vehicle sculptor.

2014 – Intrado

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Mobility became a catchy word in the mid-2010s with Ford leading the way. The Intrado Concept, unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, showed that Hyundai was headed toward mobility solutions as well. In their words, the concept, "demonstrated Hyundai's belief that advanced vehicle technologies and intelligent design can combine to engage more effectively with the driver and passengers."

It was this concept that shaped the Hyundai Kona, which has gone on to win accolades and awards worldwide for its numerous features and right-sized design.

2015 - Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

It's coming! The Hyundai Santa Cruz was the belle of the ball in 2015, introducing a truck-like figure to the Hyundai concept lineup and giving brand enthusiasts something to dream about. Now, five years one, the model is nearly ready for production.

Spy photography of the Santa Cruz, which Hyundai says is a utility vehicle rather than a truck, indicates that it takes design nods from both the Santa Cruz and the "Sensuous Sportiness" aesthetic with triangle-shaped designs on the doors and a nose heavily influenced by the Palisade.

2016 – RN30

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

With the RN30, a nod was given to the notion that Hyundai's future was about to get going - quickly. Revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the concept was race-inspired and based on the i30 (in the U.S. it's the Elantra GT), a collaborative effort between Hyundai Motorsport, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center, and Hyundai Motor's Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division.

The model was seen as a precursor to the i30 N and the i30 N TCR but also signaled that models like the Veloster N, Sonata N Line, and Elantra N Line, were possible.

2017 – FE Fuel Cell

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

In the past 18 months, Hyundai has greatly stepped up its messaging regarding the benefits of fuel cell technology, but the company's efforts to show a hydrogen-powered future extend back even further. The FE Fuel Cell Concept was shown at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, reconfirming Hyundai's commitment to the powertrain technology.

The Hyundai Nexo was unveiled a few months after the concept and now Hyundai is saying that future hydrogen-powered models are on their way, including a Genesis SUV.

2018 – Le Fil Rouge

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai gave a nod to its past while hinting at the future with the Le Fil Rouge concept. The model's design was influenced by the 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept and showed off a new era of design, which we know today as "Sensuous Sportiness".

This design aesthetic was first fully realized on the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata and has recently been translated to the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

2019 – "45"

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Like Le Fil Rouge, the 45 concept was a modern interpretation of the Hyundai Pony Concept, only this time it was focused on powertrain technology.

Hyundai says that the car's diamond silhouette foreshadows the design direction of future electric vehicles the company will produce while holding fast to the "Sensuous Sportiness" design identity.

2019 – Vision T

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

In late 2019, Hyundai committed to adding 13 alternatively fueled products by 2022 including six sedans and seven SUVs. The Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept gave a hint at things to come, possibly in the next-generation Tucson.

2020 – Prophecy

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Gone are the harsh edges of the 45, replaced in this EV concept by the bulbous bodied Prophecy concept. The model missed its scheduled debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show due to the coronavirus outbreak but Hyundai went ahead and revealed images of it for the world to see.

Hyundai says that the car's design gives a nod to the large models of the 1920s and 30s but brings forward digital technology of today.

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Frightening security

Boston Dynamics' robot to patrol Kia factory

The robot is being tested as a security patrol unit.

Hyundai

Breaking into an auto manufacturing facility was already a very bad idea, but new security tech being tested by Hyundai Motor Group makes it downright terrifying as well. In addition to cameras, sensors, and armed security guards, would-be burglars at a Kia plant in South Korea now have to face off with a semi-autonomous robot dog.

The Boston Dynamics quadruped robot, named Spot, is being tested as a safer and more effective way of providing security patrols to the plant. The dog is one of several robots designed and tested by the firm, which has long terrified the internet with its physically capable electronic beings.

Boston Dynamics Spot Robot The robot uses various sensors to detect danger and intruders.Hyundai

If you haven't seen it, the Boston Dynamics robot dog is frightening enough on its own, so it's an excellent choice to provide factory security. The robot uses an integrated thermal camera and 3D LiDAR to detect people around it, and can monitor high-temperature situations and fire hazards. It can be controlled remotely through a secure webpage, which allows personnel to see what's going on in the factory without putting themselves in danger.

The robot is capable of navigating tight spaces and can identify issues not visible to the human eye. It's also able to semi-autonomously navigate its environment, and has been developed with task management and deep learning-based vision technology. Boston Dynamics says that its tech can be expanded to other types of robot platforms.



The robot dog is currently in the pilot stage at Kia's plant in South Korea. It will be used to support late-night security patrols and increase safety for workers. Hyundai Motor Group will assess the robot's effectiveness and suitability for the job before expanding its use in other industrial sites.

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Safety and technology awards

Four Hyundai cars earn top marks for teen drivers

Best SUV for Teens $35 to $40k: 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid

Hyundai
Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks vehicles in several categories. One relates to teen drivers and how well a vehicle performs in areas such as safety and available technology features. The 2021 rankings for Best New Cars for Teens were just released and one automaker hit it big. Four vehicles from Hyundai's 2021 lineup took top spots in various categories. They include:
  • Best Car for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
  • Best SUV for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Kona
  • Best Car for Teens $25k to $30k: 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
  • Best SUV for Teens $35k to $40k: 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid


2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Best Car for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Elantra HybridHyundai


All vehicles that earned awards in the 2021 survey are available with safety features that include forward collision warnings, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and lane keep assist. The vehicles also carry safety features and controls that allow parents to monitor their teen's behavior. Through the available smartphone app, parents can receive alerts when the vehicle goes over a set speed or if the teen leaves a set geographic area. The idea is that the functionality allows parents to coach their young drivers on their driving habits.


2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Best Car for Teens $25k to $30k 2021 Hyundai Ioniq HybridHyundai


To earn a spot on the U.S. News Best Cars for Teens rankings, a vehicle has to score well in several categories that include crash test scores and available advanced driver assistance features. The vehicle must also have scored well in the publication's rankings for its segment and price level.


2021 Hyundai Kona Best SUV for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai KonaHyundai

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