Hyundai embraces the hexagon with new Hexa Space multi-purpose vehicle concept
By Darren Quick
January 5, 2012
Hyundai will be giving its new multi-purpose vehicle concept its world premiere at Auto Expo 2012, which kicks off in New Delhi, India on the weekend. Based on Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design language, the "Hexa Space" - also codenamed the HND-7 - is powered by Hyundai's 1.2-liter "Kappa" turbocharged GDI petrol engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and features eight, hexagonally shaped seats that "fit together like puzzle pieces" to enable multiple configurations, including a limosine layout.
To maximize passenger space inside the vehicle while retaining a narrow exterior, Hyundai has turned to the hexagon, which the company points out is renowned as the optimum shape for space efficiency in everything from honeycombs to architecture. The eight hexagonally shaped seats are placed honeycomb-style in two front rows of three seats, with the middle seat positioned slight behind the two either side, and a third row of two seats. However, a look at the interior suggests the middle front passenger might need to make sure they don't stretch their legs too much lest tangle with the pedals or the driver's feet.
The center seats can be folded flat when not in use for a bit more elbow room, while folding the second row flat creates a "limosine function." If you're carting a small amount of cargo instead of a bunch of kids heading to the prom, the rear row can be folded flat. Meanwhile, for more bulky loads, all seven seats other than the driver's can be folded flat. If you're looking to camp out in the car then even the driver's seat can be folded flat for the maximum amount of sleeping space.
Entering and exiting the car shouldn't pose problems thanks to a door design that does away with the center pillar and sees the rear doors lift out and slide back to create an opening spanning almost the entire length of the passenger compartment. Hyundai has also extended the hexagonal shape to the front of the car in the form of LED headlights. Meanwhile, inside there is a touchscreen center console, push-button shifter and a cluster ionizer air purifier.
Although it's currently only a concept, Hyundai says the vehicle is aimed at young families in the 30s and 40s looking to navigate the crowded urban streets of India and other emerging countries. As such, the Hexa Space is only slightly wider than the compact ix20 with which it shares a platform. With exterior dimensions of 4,300 mm long by 1,820 mm wide and 1,647 high (169.3 x 71.6 x 64.8 in), the vehicle has a wheelbase of 2,750 mm (108.2 in) and runs on 19-inch wheels.