Hyundai 45 electric car: production version spotted winter testing
The Hyundai 45, the South Korean firm's 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show electric-car concept, looks set to spawn a production version. A prototype car has been spotted testing under heavy disguise on a frozen lake in northern Europe, indicating development is well underway.
When it arrives, the production 45 is expected to slot into Hyundai's electric range at a higher price point than the existing Ioniq Electric hatchback and Kona Electric SUV models. It'll serve as the debut for a new, cleaner and more minimalist design language that'll feature on all electric Hyundais from now on.
Under the retro-inspired exterior styling, the 45 will sit on a new global mechanical platform that's being developed to underpin numerous Hyundai and Kia electric cars in the coming years. Hyundai is expected to reveal the production version of the 45 at some point in 2021, but before that, it's revealing a new electric-car concept called the Prophecy at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show.
Hyundai 45 concept
The Hyundai 45 concept that was unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt show was said to be a showcase of the firm’s future electric-car design language. Although focused firmly on the future, the 45 concept’s name marked 45 years since Hyundai revealed its first car, the Pony Coupe Concept, in 1974.
Like the original, the 45 is a lesson in minimalist design and clean lines. Hyundai calls its approach ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ and claims it “strips away complexity”. Hyundai said the 45 would be a “symbol” of its “forward-driven design direction” and heralded its new monocoque-style body and aerodynamic and lightweight design, inspired by aircraft from the 1920s.
The name 45 also refers to the 45-degree angles front and rear, which form a diamond-shaped silhouette. At the front, the 45 has a latticed grille with kinetic LED cube lamps either side, with a sweeping rear end and an LED light bar spanning the width of the tailgate. There’s novelty feature in the shape of an LED bar at the bottom of the door that shows how much battery life is left.
The 45’s fastback proportions give it a coupe-like stance. A pair of sliding doors open up to a large, unrestricted opening, and an interior that Hyundai describes as a ‘living space’ inspired by furniture design. There’s plenty of wood, fabric and leather that should give the car an inviting, warm atmosphere, a well as lounge-like seats in the back and front seats that swivel.
The 45 also showcases some futuristic in-car technologies, such as Hyundai’s ‘projection-beam interface’, which eschews a touchscreen and projects displays and functions onto the dashboard. There’s also a Camera Monitoring System that uses side cameras rather than door mirrors and is part of Hyundai’s open architecture for future self-driving technology.
The cameras also have a built-in brush that wipes the lens clean should it get dirty. In terms of packaging, the batteries are placed low in the 45’s ‘skateboard floor’ and the motors are placed outside of the passenger compartment, freeing up space inside. There are also transparent door pockets, which are horizontal and elongated to allow them to house larger items like tablets.