Meet the Le Fil Rouge HDC-1 design concept, whose French name translates to ‘common thread’, which happens to describe the Korean carmaker’s belief that its past, present and future designs are all connected.
According to the Hyundai Design Centre boss Luc Donckerwolke, the Le Fil Rouge is a reboot of the 1974 Pony Coupe Concept. Hyundai’s first concept was a rather spectacular thing, with a Gallic-like angular design that influenced its early models including the Pony and first-general Excel, before the late 1980s ruined everything.
While the production Pony’s simple lines represented post-Korean War austerity, Le Fil Rouge shows just how far Hyundai has come in terms of vehicle design and technology.
The stunning coupe demonstrates how Hyundai’s new Sensuous Sportiness mantra will be represented by four fundamental elements in vehicle design, including:
Proportion: This is based on the golden-ratio (often used in design and art) which results in an aesthetically pleasing long wheel base, large wheels and short overhangs, topped with a teardrop roofline.
Architecture: Hyundai’s new ‘Light Architecture’ approach sees front and rear pillars and roof seamlessly blended into the overarching silhouette of the vehicle, as though it is drawn with a single line. Meanwhile, ‘Tube Architecture’ brings the exterior and interior together, with hollowed out panels, doors and interior fixings that also significantly reduce weight.
Styling: The aim of Sensuous Sportiness is to create a vehicle that is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai, even from a distance. This includes a reinterpretation of the brand’s familiar cascading grille with a more three-dimensional design that blends seamlessly into the headlights.
Technology: Nothing earth shattering here, but it does include aviation-inspired ventilation that blows air over and through the hollow curved surfaces, while revitalised wood and high-tech fabrics are used for interior furnishings. A panoramic floating display coupled with haptic technology provides intuitive controls for climate control and other vehicle configurations.
It remains to be seen how the Sensuous Sportiness translates to production vehicles, or how an SUV can look anywhere as good as the Le Fil Rouge HDC-1, but at time when many concepts are exploring future of driverless pods, it’s heartening to see a design theme that still very much has the driver in mind.