Wednesday, July 25, 2018

One of the most stunning concept cars we've seen all year is... wait for it... a Hyundai

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept car.
Photo: Hyundai Media Center.
On Friday, one of the most visually stunning sports coupe concepts that we’ve seen in the past year will be on display for the first time at the 40th Annual Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan, which runs July 27–29.

And that concept car is coming from none other than Hyundai.

As with most concept cars, whether it will ever be built is quite another question. But we hope it will.

Even if the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept never materializes as an assembly-line reality, however, there is still good news associated with its debut. According to Hyundai, the purpose of this concept car is to introduce a design language that the automaker promises “will appear on all Hyundai vehicles, ranging from sedans to SUVs.

If that proves true, that design language, which Hyundai calls “Sensuous Sportiness,” could be a welcome evolution for Hyundai. While we’re generally admirers of Hyundai and Kia around here, we also frequently point to the current-generation Sonata, along with the soon-to-be-defunct Ford Fusion, as unfortunate archetypes of an unadventurous, unimaginative sameness of shape that we see so frequently in automaker lineups today.

Meanwhile, back to the Le Fil Rouge concept itself.

One standout feature is the extended hoodline that eases into an elegant upward arch before sloping smoothly down to the front end. While this is similar to a signature element that Mazda is integrating into every model in their current lineup, Hyundai could certainly do worse than to be a bit derivative with this design motif.

If this concept has one slightly disappointing touch, it’s the grille, which looks a bit like someone took that ghastly cow-catcher shape that Lexus is running through the grilles of their entire current lineup, and stretched it into a narrower wedge shape. Come on, Hyundai. You can do better than that—especially with a concept car.

The unfortunate grille of the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept car.
Photo: Hyundai Media Center.
We can live with this flaw, however. And what’s interesting about it is that the grille looks as if it’s made up of a complex array of lenses that integrate the front-end lighting—or is the entire grille actually an LED light array that integrates everything, including headlights, turn signals, and markers?

The news release announcing this week’s debut does not include any detail on the concept car’s dimensions. But the proportions give the impression of a big coupe—a relative rarity that would be a welcome option among the limited selections offered by most of today’s automotive lineups.

That big-coupe vibe could be misleading, though. The sense of size perhaps stems in part from certain lines that are a bit reminiscent of the most recent Buick Riviera concept that GM teased at the 2013 Shanghai Motor show. Granted, the basic shape of Le Fil Rouge certainly shares a lot of DNA with the last generation Hyundai Genesis coupe. But the visual impression is bigger.

Especially if it were paired with a formidable powerplant, an accessibly priced sporty coupe with a truly usable back seat could present some intriguing competitive possibilities for Hyundai. Think of a better-looking—and hopefully more affordable—take on the segment that the Cadillac CTS-V currently occupies, for example.

It’s also easy to imagine a production vehicle based on the Le Fil Rouge concept being positioned against the forthcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia 2-door coupe. Frankly, the Le Fil Rouge design actually looks sleeker and sportier than the Giulia Coupe renderings that have been teased thus far.

Let's hope something derived from the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge actually concept actually enters the market, so that the world will get a chance to find out.

Hey, at least we can dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment