2014 Hyundai Intrado Concept

The 2014 Geneva Motor Show is coming up next week and it looks like Hyundai is ready to make its first appearance there with the compact SUV called the Intrado Concept.

The new Intrado concept is the first vehicle developed by the company, using the new "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design language, and it is the brainchild of a European design team supervised by Peter Schreyer.

The name "Intrado" is taken from the arch on the underside of an airplane’s wing that provides the lift needed for flight. As no surprise, this concept draws plenty of inspiration from the aircraft world, like its advanced materials that help ensure a low curb weight.

The concept features a super-lightweight structure made from a mixture of advanced materials and will use a smaller, lighter and improved version of the hydrogen fuel cell found in the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell .

Full details on the Hyundai Intrado Concept will be unveiled during its official debut in Geneva.

Click past the jump to read more about the Hyundai Intado Concept.

Exterior

Hyundai Intrado Concept
Hyundai Intrado Concept
Hyundai Intrado Concept

To say the exterior design of the Intrado is bold would be an understatement. The high-riding crossover shares a similar grille to the upcoming 2015 Genesis sedan but is flanked by aggressive vertical air scoops with horizontal LED running lights running along their top. The LED headlights give off a menacing sliver of light that would scare any small child. Around the Intrado’s side, deeply scalloped fenders crease into the rocker panel and door to form a unique and interesting intersection of lines.

Out back the lines are no less unique. A bulging rear tailgate rolls into the lower fascia which is bookended by similar aero features found up front. The LED taillights have a sharply curved angle that’s reminiscent of a shark’s mouth – at least from a rear three-quarter view.

Weight reduction is a central theme running through the Intrado Concept. Extensive uses of carbon fiber and lightweight steel within the structure help make the most of its hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. Hyundai Hyundai calls the overall design minimalistic with “no unnecessary adornments” for a very clean look. The body panels are also said to be easily and cost-effectively replaced in the event of damage due to their lightweight steel construction.

Interior

Hyundai Intrado Concept

Uniqueness continues inside with a very concept-like design. The instrument cluster and infotainment screen are quite futuristic while the dashboard looks like one large chunk of molded orange plastic with the steering column seemingly not changing the dashboard’s flow. A minimalistic style of switchgear inhabits the center console and flat-bottomed steering wheel. A bridge-like piece connects the lower center console and horizontal dashboard and appears to house the transmission controls.

The heavy use of carbon fiber within the Intrado’s structure is highlighted within the cabin as well. Opening the doors, hood, or tailgate reveals the uncovered carbon fiber patterns in the bodywork. “See through” air vents carry the visibility theme onto the dash as well.

Drivetrain

Hyundai Intrado Concept

The most news worthy aspect of the Intrado is its hydrogen fuel-cell powerplant. The system is paired with a 36 kWh Li-ion battery that that helps push the crossover’s driving range to 372 miles. Refueling only takes a few minutes and emissions are nothing more than pure water. Hyundai says the new hydrogen fuel-cell and Li-ion battery system promises a better driving dynamic and added responsiveness over previous fuel-cell systems.

Not much else is known about the system at this point. Hyundai will assuredly release more technical details and specs once the Intrado Concept goes on display at Geneva .

Drivetrain typeHydrogen fuel-cell powertrain
BatteryLi-ion 36 kWh
Driving range600 kilometers (372 miles)
EmissionsOnly water

Prices

Since the Intrado is still in the concept phase, there’s no word on pricing. There are rumblings, however, about Hyundai bringing its ix35 Fuel Cell Tucson’s hydrogen powerplant to the U.S., and they may use the Intrado to accomplish that goal. Currently, the ix35 Tucson is available for lease in a few European countries for the equivalent of $3,000 down and $499 a month. Perhaps, the Intrado will stick close to that pricing structure if/when it ever comes Stateside.

Competition

Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota FCV Concept

Like the Intrado, Toyota’s FCV Concept is a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. It made its debut last year at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and caused quite a stir with its advertised 310-mile range. Its power comes from two 70 MPa high-pressure fuel stacks that have a power density of 3 kW/L and a minimum output of 100 kW. Do the math and that’s about 134 horsepower.

Not much is known about if or when the FCV will make it into production, but with the onslaught of other alternative fueled vehicles making their debut, we wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota took the leap forward.

2015 BMW

BMW i3

The BMW i3 goes about being green a completely different way. Instead of hydrogen, the i3 uses an electric motor and batteries to power its way through town. If longer sprints on the open road are expected, BMW shoppers can by the range-extender version with a small onboard internal combustion engine that will push the normally short-range car up to 180 miles before needing refueling. Non-range-extender models will travel81 to 99 miles on a single charge.

Pricing for the i3 starts at $41,350 for a battery-only example. Bumping up the range-extender model raises the price to $45,200. Sales will begin within the U.S. in the second quarter of this year – meaning it’s only a few months out – and will be classified a 2015 model.

Conclusion

Hyundai Intrado Concept

There’s a lot to like about Hyundai’s Intrado Concept - from its extensive use of carbon fiber and lightweight steel to keep weight down and strength up, to its bold, unique designs both inside and out. Experiments like this ultimately helps the auto industry conquer the looming CAFÉ standards by supplying engineers with a test bed for future modes of powering our everyday vehicles.

Even without the innovated powertrain, the Intrado’s interior and exterior designs are something to be remembered if not copied in other Hyundai products.

LOVE IT
  • Bold design looks great
  • Innovative powertrain
  • Could actually make us want to drive ’green’
LEAVE IT
  • Still unproven tech on a massive scale
  • Limited production run numbers are likely
  • Not much is known on pricing

Press Release

Hyundai Motor has unveiled Intrado, its vision of how cars will meet future mobility needs. Far more than a styling exercise, Intrado demonstrates Hyundai’s belief that advanced vehicle technologies and intelligent design can combine to engage more effectively with driver and passengers.

Hyundai Intrado Concept

Set to be revealed to the public at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Intrado has resulted from fresh consideration of what consumers will need and expect of their cars in the near future: cars that are easy to use, intuitive to interact with, and readily adaptable to the varying demands of their busy, active lifestyles.

Intrado takes its name from the underside of an aircraft’s wing – the area that creates lift. The car’s advanced materials and technologies also draw inspiration from aircraft, such as the removal of all unnecessary weight, logical solutions to complex challenges, inspired by a purity of purpose, and a highly efficient powertrain.

The exterior of Intrado presents a progressive interpretation of Hyundai’s established fluidic sculpture form language. The vehicle’s distinctive shape is dictated by the need to be aerodynamically efficient; it is free of unnecessary adornments and features minimal detailing. The body panels are made of advanced super lightweight steel from Hyundai Motor’s steel plant.

Hyundai Intrado Concept

The interior of Intrado is defined by a focus on usability and adaptability, and draws attention to its advanced materials and radical construction to deliver the kind of functional beauty typically seen on high-end mountain bikes. The seals of opening panels shut directly against the central carbon frame, showcasing the carbon fibre whenever doors, hood or trunk are opened. Components that are usually concealed are highlighted, including the ‘see-through’ air vents and exposed frame onto which the seats clip directly. The use of bright ‘Beaufort Orange’ contrasts with the exposed carbon fibre, reflecting the car’s active brief and mirroring its restrained exterior detailing.

The super-lightweight structure of Intrado demonstrates Hyundai’s desire to produce lighter, stronger cars that are even better to drive and simpler to repair. The central carbon frame structure is constructed using new, patent-pending manufacturing and joining techniques that together have the potential to change the way cars are made. The strength and rigidity of this central structure also allow body panels to be constructed from any material, giving designers greater flexibility and aiding repairability. Lightweight steel impact structures further enhance crash performance and repair times.

Intrado is powered by a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain that utilises a Li-ion 36 kWh battery. Refuelled in just a few minutes, Intrado has a range of up to 600 kilometres and emits only water. In addition to improved performance and increased range, Intrado promises more responsive and agile driving dynamics, thanks to the reduced weight and greater efficiency of its powertrain.

Hyundai Intrado Concept

Intrado is the first Hyundai to have been developed under the direction of Peter Schreyer, who became President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group in January 2013. He commented: “Effortless and sensual, Intrado reflects the open-mindedness and constant renewal of the Hyundai brand. It also shows that Hyundai wants its customers to rediscover the joy and freedom that should be associated with personal mobility. That’s why this car has such purity of purpose – it’s logical, lovable and liveable.”

The result of close collaboration between Hyundai Motor’s design and engineering teams, Intrado was styled and engineered primarily at Hyundai Motor European R&D centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany – as indicated by its codename, HED-9 (Hyundai Europe Design).

Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, led the design team that created the Intrado: “In line with its promise of a motoring future that is more relevant to users’ lifestyles, we have given Intrado a distinctive exterior and interior shape, formed from the lightweight frame that incorporates only what is necessary. The exterior is defined by a simple yet sporty profile which displays the latest interpretation of fluidic sculpture, while the interior shows how minimal ornamentation will perfectly fit into the varied lifestyles of the millennial generation.”


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