As you've probably noticed by now, car companies today have a tendency to repurpose the same basic design (albeit pinched, stretched, or rescaled) for every vehicle in their lineup, all in the name of brand recognizability—futile though that may be. Instead of taking this one-look-fits-all approach, however, Hyundai plans a restyling campaign that'll give all its products almost totally unique appearances. Lucky for us, that initiative will start with a pair of electric vehicles based on its radical Prophecy and 45 concept cars.
"There will be a production version of Prophecy coming after a production version of the 45 concept," said the head of Hyundai's global design center, Sang Yup Lee, in an interview with Auto Express. "The 45 is more inspired by the 1970s, but a more modern SUV style that's more mainstream. The Prophecy is inspired by the 1930s streamlined era. These two cars show how much of the design spectrum we are capable of."
The production model based on the 45 (above) will reportedly debut later this year, while the vehicle resulting from the Prophecy (below) will follow in 2021 as a replacement for the Ioniq. Both models will ride on Hyundai's Electric Global Modular Platform (EGM-P), whose industry-standard "skateboard" configuration with batteries in the floor lets automakers reclaim space ordinarily lost to bulky combustion engines. These vehicles will be at the forefront of Hyundai's campaign to stylistically differentiate its entire lineup, and will later be followed by smaller products built on the EV platform co-developed with California startup Canoo.
"Our cars will be more like a chess board where you have a king, queen, bishop, [and] knight. They all look different and function differently but when they're together they come as one team," Lee continued. "People say that you have to have to default with the grille looking the same and headlights looking the same, but we want to challenge that consistency in detail. So the cars will look completely different."
Hyundai will nevertheless tie all its models' styling together with one common detail, that being the "pixel" headlights foreshadowed by both the Prophecy and 45 concept cars.
"The family look will come from the lights. We have consistency in detail—in the pixel graphic," added Lee. "It's like a hidden charm that brings the consistency between the two cars, the pixels are one of the main things."
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