Hyundai Motor unveiled the ‘Le Fil Rouge (HDC-1)’ concept at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, marking a new era for Hyundai design and providing a glimpse of its future design cues. As its name implies, Le Fil Rouge (common thread) is a reflection of Hyundai’s belief that the brand’s past, present and future designs are all connected.
“‘Le Fil Rouge’ is a reinterpretation 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, Vice President and Head of Hyundai Styling.”
The new concept is an introduction to the car manufacturer's latest approach in design, ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, which 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.
Sensuous Sportiness is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements in vehicle design: proportion, architecture, styling, and technology.
Le Fil Rouge creates 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 further 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 teardrop roofline 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 vehicle, as though it 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 position is designed to further add to the fun of driving with optimised ergonomics.
A wrap-around architecture emphasises depth, creating a calm, spacious and comfortable travel environment for everyone inside.
Another goal of the team was to create a vehicle that is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai from a distance or amongst a herd. 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.
Also recognisable is the concept’s distinctive ambience with a wide, layered front hood, combined with a further enhanced Cascading Grille, Hyundai’s most distinguishing design feature. The new Cascading Grille comes with a three-dimensional treatment, featuring parametric jewels inside, giving 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. Re-vitalised 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 the 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.