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Frankfurt show: Hyundai teases EV design direction

Happy anniversary: The aptly named 45 concept pays homage to the first model to be badged as a Hyundai, the 1975 Pony, with its full-width tail-light panel, among other exterior design elements.

Hyundai’s 45 concept to preview new design direction for future electric vehicles

23 Aug 2019

HYUNDAI Motor Company will provide a hint at the future design direction of its electric vehicles (EVs) next month, with the 45 concept to make its international debut at the Frankfurt motor show.


The aptly named 45 concept has close ties with the first model to be badged as a Hyundai, the Pony from 1975, with the South Korean brand using it as inspiration for its latest all-electric offering.


Teased with a single darkened image of its rear end, the 45 concept will feature a full-width tail-light panel – a key design element shared with the Pony’s hatch body style.


The lighting signature of the tail-lights themselves is reminiscent of shape of the Pony’s twin headlight clusters, albeit with contemporary LED bulbs.


The Pony hatch’s steeply raked fastback form is also seen on the 45 concept alongside its dual vents either side of the rear glass and off-centre ‘Hyundai’ badge.


The 45 concept does not, however, stick to the established formula with its unconventional numberplate, which is another LED panel that this time displays the ‘45’ moniker.


“The new concept accentuates the forward-driven design direction while exploring the evolution of Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language,” the company said in a press release.


“‘Sensuous’ stands for enhanced emotional values that customers can experience through design, and ‘Sportiness’ is determined to implement those values through innovative mobility solutions.”


This design language first appeared on the new-generation Sonata mid-size sedan that is due in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter this year.


It is yet to be seen on an EV, with the Korean brand’s two current all-electric models, the Ioniq small hatch and Kona Electric small SUV, predating ‘Sensuous Sportiness’.


While a production model based on the 45 concept is yet to be confirmed, such a move would be similar to the one made by Honda with its retro Urban EV concept inspired by the original Civic.


Debuting at the 2017 edition of the Frankfurt motor show, the small hatch evolved ever so slightly to become the E. As reported, though, the production model will not be sold in Australia in the short term due its focus on the European market from launch.


The 45 concept will be fully revealed at 6.25pm (AEST) on Tuesday, September 10, at which time details regarding its zero-emissions powertrain are expected to be released.


For reference, the Pony borrowed most of its mechanics from Mitsubishi, but its exterior styling was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the founders of Italian automotive design studio Italdesign.

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