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Future models - Hyundai - HND-7 Hexa Space

Delhi show: Hyundai reveals Space ship

Squeeze them in: Amazingly, the Hyundai Hexa Space eight-seater is shorter than a Mazda3 small car.

Hyundai goes hexagonal with mini eight-seat people-mover for developing markets

Hyundai logo6 Jan 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS and MIKE COSTELLO

HYUNDAI has used the Delhi Auto Expo to reveal a stylish eight-seat mini people-mover concept called the HND-7 Hexa Space.

While the South Korean company is said to be gauging customer reaction to the vehicle at the show, expect it to enter production in India alongside the brand’s i20 light-sized hatchback in about 2015, although maybe with a more practical interior layout than the show car.

The concept – which Hyundai says targets young urban families in emerging markets – has an unusual seating configuration that positions the centre pew in the first two rows slightly behind those on either side.

This layout allows passengers to sit three-abreast without feeling as cramped as they might in a traditional bench seat layout, with the added benefit of reduced risk of passenger head clashes in a side impact.

According to Hyundai each of the concept’s eight slim, hexagonally-shaped seats fit together like puzzle pieces to maximise interior space while minimising the vehicle’s overall width – important in the often crowded and narrow streets of the car’s target markets.

1 center imageThese centre seats can also be folded flat, while other configurations include folding the entire middle row flat to create a limousine function, folding the rear seats flat for load-lugging or even folding all eight seats into the floor for camping.

This seating layout is unlikely to make final production – in the flesh, the seats appear far too narrow to be viable – although such a layout might be have more potential in a bigger vehicle, such as a future iMax.

The vehicle also features a new take on the brand’s trademark ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ styling language and a futuristic dash design with a touch-screen instrument cluster.

The concept shares its platform with the ix20 five-seat mini-MPV sold in Europe, and at 4300mm long, 1820mm wide and 1647mm high is substantially more compact than fellow seven- or eight-seaters such as the Kia Rio, Toyota Tarago or iMax.

Power comes from the brand’s turbocharged 1.2-litre ‘Kappa’ GDI petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The concept also features sliding rear doors that lift well out from the body before sliding back, as well as front doors that open at more than 90 degrees for easy entry and egress.

The hexagonal theme from the seats also applies to the car’s bold chrome grille, flanked by large angular headlights.

The design most notably takes cues from the chunky i-Flow sedan concept from 2010 and the i-Mode MPV concept from the 2008 Geneva motor show.

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