February 3, 2023

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General Evolution

Hyundai Design Chief SangYup Lee on the Company’s Design Future

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Photo credit: Hyundai

Picture credit rating: Hyundai

20 many years in the past, Hyundai was recognized for bland, low-cost A-to-B transportation. It would have been difficult to visualize that the firm would at any time create a popularity for resourceful and elegant cars. But with bold patterns like the 2023 Palisade and the retro-futuristic Ioniq 5, Hyundai has now grow to be a structure chief. We spoke with Hyundai’s style and design chief, SangYup Lee, at the New York automobile present and he gave us perception into the firm’s current and long term style philosophy.

Photo credit: LMC/Hyundai

Photograph credit score: LMC/Hyundai

Hyundai has proven its eye-catching type with huge grilles that dominate the faces of its fuel-run styles. Whilst some of these grilles, like the gaping maws on the Sonata and Santa Fe, have created the vehicles appear like hungry catfish, Hyundai strike a residence run with the armor-like grilles on its 2022 Tucson and Santa Cruz. The two versions disguise the daytime functioning lights as component of the grille—which Hyundai phone calls the “hidden jewel” design—and Lee said constructive opinions on the Tucson prompted the grille layout to distribute to the 2023 Palisade. “This is a quite special attribute so we want to really capitalize and make a statement,” he defined.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

Photograph credit history: Michael Simari – Vehicle and Driver

At the very same time, Hyundai has managed to produce a sharp and effortlessly identifiable EV lineup devoid of relying on the same design aspect. “In the EV period, the grille is no lengthier wanted,” Lee reported. “Obtaining a classic ICE ingredient carry to upcoming, that is most likely not the right go.” Rather, Lee suggests “the light-weight signature is a lot more critical than the grille shape,” and a person look at the Ioniq 5 shows which is the case. The 5 was the debut for the pixel graphic, which will spread across the Ioniq lineup and presents off an ’80s video clip sport vibe whilst still hunting contemporary and futuristic. We’ve presently viewed the pixels show up on the Prophecy strategy, which previews the upcoming Ioniq 6, and the 7 strategy, which will turn into the Ioniq 7 in 2024. “None of them have a grille, but the consistency is the pixel lamp,” Lee claimed. “When you see pixel lamp, it really is a Hyundai.” Though other automakers—namely BMW, Mercedes, and Audi—have provided pretend grilles on their EVs, Hyundai would not as extended as Lee is in charge.

Photo credit: Hyundai

Image credit history: Hyundai

Before performing at Hyundai, Lee created for Standard Motors and the Volkswagen Team, penning breathtaking automobiles like the 2006 Camaro notion. Whilst Lee liked his time at those producers, he explained working at Hyundai has been a breath of clean air. “Bentley’s legacy is unbelievable,” he stated. “But this body weight from the legacy on your shoulders is very major, s
o when you do the sketch you question, is this Bentley sufficient?

“With Hyundai you have extra flexibility,” he explained, because the South Korean brand name isn’t going to have nearly as set a design lineage. Lee sees his time at Hyundai as an possibility to compose historical past: “What you happen to be carrying out is section of what will grow to be the brand name legacy.” Hyundai’s strategy is also considerably more buyer focused, which Lee likes. “Often I expend several hours at the Costco parking lot, finding out how the shopper reacts to the automobile, how Mom places her baby in the again seat, how they load stuff in the tailgate,” he said. “That’s the inspiration.”

This flexibility from a layout legacy at Hyundai is enhanced by absence of constraints when designing electric vehicles. Whilst fuel automobile models are limited by their powertrain and chassis, “the EV skateboard system presents us a good deal much more flexibility.” This lets for the blurring of traditional automotive segments the Ioniq 5 is a primary case in point, its hatchback proportions belying the car’s SUV size and 118.1-inch wheelbase. Lee did make a worrying comment that the long term “might be all boxes with inside space,” but at the very least for now, Hyundai will keep on with the two-box layout, with Lee promising “all of our Ioniq EVs will have the longest wheelbase in the industry.”

These stretched wheelbases open up lots of opportunities. Lee reported he experienced a short while ago been in South Korea and experienced witnessed an Ioniq 5 in an apartment parking good deal. “There was a father and a son and they place a little desk powering the entrance seats and ended up researching with each other in the automobile,” he mentioned. “Possibly they the two got kicked out by Mom,” he joked, but the Ioniq 5 was correctly adding a different area to their condominium. “This area revolution is the vital for the EV,” Lee concluded. “How you benefit from this space is an open chapter for designers.”

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