Prophecy points to the Hyundai future
After last year’s visions that pointed towards its electric and autonomous future, Hyundai has revealed more details about those aspects of its upcoming cars, as well as its next-generation design. Originally set for a 2020 Geneva Motor Show debut—and building on the minimalistic and simplistic 45 concept car from 2019, the Prophecy is a sleek and aerodynamic vision of what direction the Korean manufacturer is moving in.
With an extended wheelbase and shorter overhangs at each end of the car, Prophecy is designed to create a premium feel and clean lines to demonstrate what the company is calling “Optimistic Futurism.”
“We have brought to life yet another icon that establishes a new standard for the EV segment as well as pushing Hyundai’s design vision to even broader horizons,” said SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai’s global design center. “A part of that expansion is what we call Optimistic Futurism, a design concept embodied by Prophecy. With Optimistic Futurism, our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles.”
Hyundai has also introduced what it calls “Sensuous Sportiness” with the Prophecy, to complement that emotional connection. The creation of a boat-tail line at the rear of the car has been integrated to add a dynamic element to the design, as well as further boosting the all-important aerodynamic properties. Propeller shapes in the Prophecy’s wheels are—again—more than an aesthetic touch; they enable air to be drawn in and flown down the side of the body like, says Hyundai, water over a stone.
The pixel lights that were seen on the 45 have evolved between that concept car and this one. The lighting technology has been integrated into the headlamps, the rear lamps, and those on the car’s spoiler. This lighting touch is one of the design cues that will be carried forward onto future production Hyundai modes, the company has confirmed.
Finally on the exterior, a wide air intake installed below the bumper on the underside of the Prophecy takes fresh air to cool the batteries more efficiently and effectively, further improving the EV’s environmentally friendly attributes.
Inside the car is spacious and functional. As the Prophecy is built on a stretched EV platform, floor space is maximized, with the focus more on a living space than a vehicle interior.
In the driver’s seat, dual joysticks that pivot left and right are installed in the place of a traditional steering wheel. One of the joysticks is situated on the center console, the other on the door trim. Via these controls, drivers have access to a variety of functions beyond merely dictating the direction of travel. This fresh approach to vehicle control in the Prophecy is designed to enhance passenger safety, reduce complexity, and increase available interior space.
As well as more space, the use of the joysticks to control the vehicle also enables greater visibility for the driver and passengers. In Relax mode, all that the passengers will see is a horizontal pillar-to-pillar display and the wing-shaped dashboard. When using this mode, that dashboard swivels, allowing even more space in the interior and a better view of the content shown on the display.
Promoted as a true “clean” vehicle, the Prophecy EV adopts an eco-friendly design and careful consideration of the materials used. In addition, external intakes that are placed at the bottom of the side doors allow air to circulate, providing purified air to be steadily streamed through the vehicle. In addition, the treated air is circulated back out into the atmosphere as clean air.
Hyundai claims that the flow of clean air over the interior’s wool-based felt carpet is inspired by the flow of water in nature. The chosen interior colors and materials also “compel passengers to take time to decompress, aided by low intensity ambient lighting.” The modulated colors are designed to encourage rest and relaxation while inside the vehicle.