The New York Auto Show may be the big draw this week, but in Seoul, Korea another auto show is bringing out some very interesting concepts. The sexiest and most likely to be a superhero’s vehicle of choice is Hyundai’s HND-9 coupe.
Premised roughly off Hyundai’s successful Genesis coupe, this new ultra-sleek modernistic reveal is the sculptural work of Hyundai’s Namyang Design Studios. According to Suk-Geun Oh, head of Hyundai’s Design Center, the HND-9 “Represents an evolution of Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design philosophy, the rear-wheel drive sports coupe concept balances high performance with a sophisticated image.” This new design language/philosophy is an evolutionary jump for the Korean automaker, delivering a concept light years ahead of anything previous.
The HND-9, with its hyper-dramatic, extended hood and wheelbase, has an overall length of 4,695 mm (185 in), a sexy wideness of 1,890 mm (74.5 in), height of 1,340 mm (52.75 in) and a 2,860 mm (112.65 in) wheelbase. These figures puts the concept at 63.5 mm (2.5 in) longer than the Genesis, 25.4 mm wider (1 in) and 58.4 mm (2.3 in) lower.
Powering the concept is Hyundai’s 3.3-liter turbo GDi engine coupled with an 8-speed auto box delivering power to the back wheels, Delivering 370 hp (365 kW) this direct-injection, turbo-charged V6 is premised off the Genesis Coupe but is 5 hp short of the latter’s 3.8 liter powerplant.
An Aston Martin-esque grille treatment, mixed with bit of ‘Vette rear haunchings, a dab of Miura concept and some 370Z elements definitely find their influences in the fluidic body treatment. The HND-9's distinct character lines flow fast and free from the hexagonal-shaped grille, the sharply raked rear window and tantalizing hind quarters. This thing oozes dynamic, concepty design from tip to tail.
And if the HND-9's exterior statement wasn’t enough, how about butterfly doors to seal the deal? Yup, full on Batman-ready gull-wing styled doors. Out back we have sculpturally designed rear combination lamps in between an Aston Martin Zagato-like finish. Dual Camaro-like exhaust vents can be found low under a canti-levered overhang, just above a subtle rear diffuser. And like all concepts, oversized “you’ll never see these on a production vehicle” sized 22-inch inch alloy wheels, mixed with carbon materials, can be found about the concept’s four corners. The big rims not only look hot but, because of the ceramic nature, help reduce rolling weight.
Inside, the HND-9 the future-work exercise continues. Based on Hyundai’s spiral sculpture concept, one can find an interior replete with dynamic spiral-shaped metal lines that frame the interior throughout. One of the weirdest steering wheels ever seen is a bizarre contorted thing that apparently takes its design cues from an airplane's yoke.
This aircraft inspiration follows through to what looks to be a highly stylized cubicle divider that seems to separate driver from passenger. Hyundai reports that the driver-oriented, high-tech interface is in fact modeled after a jet cockpit. The idea is to provide improved functionality and aesthetics like an aircraft’s configuration, while still retaining an automobile’s functionality.
When it comes to holding you in place the concepts seats, a sporty, luxurious mesh material, apparently changes colors depending on the angle they’re viewed. Doubt this was borrowed from an aircraft application
I might be the first to sign up should Hyundai pursue this luxo-performance vehicle to production. gullwing