Hyundai’s vision of a luxurious future

Hyundai is ready to look at the future as it reinvents itself and the Le Fil Rouge Concept is a display of how the Korean brand sees its destiny. It’s all-electric, it’s sleek, and it’s luxurious. How a model like this would wear a Hyundai badge and not a Genesis badge is a complete mystery, but the point is that Hyundai has high hopes and extreme desires. You can already see that the exterior is attractive and commanding, but inside you’ll find wood, unique styling, and heaps of technology. Oh, and like all cool-guy concepts these days, it has suicide doors as well. What else does the concept offer as far as vision goes and how much will make it to production? Let’s find out.

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Concept Exterior

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Exterior
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The Le Fil Rouge has an aggressive and sleek silhouette worthy of something that would wear a “Vision” badge

The Le Fil Rouge has an aggressive and sleek silhouette worthy of something that would wear a “Vision” badge. But, it doesn’t. Instead, it wears something a little more meaningful that points more toward destiny. And, if this is what Hyundai’s destiny looks like, consider us intrigued at the very least. Despite the fact that it’s more aggressive and gaudy than anything Hyundai has ever offered it’s still recognizable as a Hyundai. It’s got a big massive grille, and while the front fascia has the silhouette of dumb, fake air intakes, Hyundai was smart enough to leave them out. It does have an air dam, though, and it could very well be functional as electric motors and batteries need cooling.

The side profile is dominated by that excessively sharp and pronounced line below the belt line. It’s so strong, in fact, that the thin and upswept beltline is easy to miss. It also overshadows the wavy design style of the entire exterior. There’s a very thin body line about midpoint while the side skirts extend away from the body, leaving a small opening in the rear ahead of the wheels – another good opportunity for brake or motor cooling. The rear quarter panel provides room for that extensive body line to grow a bit while providing the emphasis the belt line and rear window trim deserves – notice how the trim curves around and heads bad toward the A-pillar like it’s in constant motion? It’s a nice touch.

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Exterior
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The whole upper portion of the rear end actually gives the car the impression of a two-piece design – like the top and bottom can easily separate

Around back, things are rather interesting. That massive body line wraps around to the rear and is molded to what appears to be a rear deck. The whole upper portion of the rear end actually gives the car the impression of a two-piece design – like the top and bottom can easily separate. The rear spoiler and face of the rear deck are gloss black, matching that of the massive panoramic roof. The rear fascia is rather uneventful, but that rear diffuser that sticks out provides some decent aggression back here.

All told, the concept offers a very sleek and aggressive design. It’s not likely that we’ll ever see this exact exterior design carry over into a production model, but certain parts could. That big, closed off grille and even that window trim or the sleek roofline can all make it into production at one point or another. I wouldn’t count on those big burly wheels though- at least not until we humans are banned from driving, and self-driving cars take over the world.

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Interior Design

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Interior
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There’s a lot going on inside the Le Fil Rouge Concept, but what it really boils down to is the tubular architecture that defines the interior

There’s a lot going on inside the Le Fil Rouge Concept, but what it really boils down to is the tubular architecture that defines the interior. It’s evident in the dash, the door trim panels, the center console, and even the seats. And, that design is what makes the interior stand out as unique. See how all of that curved wood encompasses the outer edges of the interior? Or how about the center console? Despite the fact that most of the cabin is covered in fine leather, it almost appears as if it’s built with wood. Wood that has been finely sanded to the point that it’s almost soft to the touch. There are even little hints of it where you wouldn’t expect like along the edge of the rear seat or ahead of the steering wheel where the column meets the overly pronounced dash. The word you’re looking for here is elegant.

On the driver’s side, the dash protrudes and sweeps upward, giving a mild appearance of the steering wheel floating. And, even though the dash sits a little high, and wraps around to the door panels, the instrument cluster area floats just ahead of that as a massive display screen. The passenger side of the dash is more recessed, allowing the wood trim inside the tube to show its presence while a small screen traverses the remainder of the dash to supply information (and possibly control of the infotainment system) to the front passenger.

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Interior
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The rear portion of the system is controlled via the touchscreen display on the center console that is also encased by a healthy dose of wood.

The front seats have the same tubular design, including the headrests that look like massive tubes wrapped in leather. The seat cushions are mounted to the floor at an aggressive angle and resemble flattened tubes while the seat backs have a cutout in the rear to create a storage pocket for rear passengers and a convenient place for a small screen that rear passengers can enjoy. Expect these screens to offer up internet access, video viewing, and trip information. The rear portion of the system is controlled via the touchscreen display on the center console that is also encased by a healthy dose of wood. Despite the fact that the rear seat looks like a bench, there’s only room for two passengers because that long center console also serves as an armrest in the rear. The back seat, while not quite as tubular as the fronts, do get the same style of headrest.

It’s a very intriguing design and one that doesn’t really seem viable by modern terms. But, that’s the beauty of concepts, even if this isn’t an official “vision” concept. A lot of this stuff could, some day – if the lord is willing – make it into production in one way or another. I wouldn’t expect to see a full production interior like this anytime soon, but certain things – like the square steering wheel, seatback design, and even those rear screens – could eventually find their way into a handful of different Hyundai-branded production models.

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Drivetrain and Performance

2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Exterior
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Ideally, this thing would carry an all-electric powertrain with it

The truth is that there are absolutely no drivetrain specs available for the Le Fil Rouge Concept. And, with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s not even a functional concept. It’s designed with the sole purpose of showing off the way Hyundai sees its future even if it doesn’t wear a “vision” moniker. Ideally, this thing would carry an all-electric powertrain with it. The battery pack would be integrated into the floor, and there would be a large motor in the front and rear.

System output would likely range between 300 and 500 horsepower, with range coming in at equal numbers in miles. With the way charging systems work these days it would probably be able to take an 80-percent charge in an hour. Of course, this is all speculation as the concept isn’t likely functional. However, these numbers are significant when you consider that it could become a production model, albeit highly toned down, in the future.


2018 Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Exterior
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This is a very cool concept, and Hyundai definitely went out of its way to think about what the future of the brand might be like. Some of the design, like the excessive amounts of wood, are questionable and will probably never make it to production. The design styling of the exterior could carry over to various production models as well, however, I wouldn’t expect to see them anytime soon. Looking further into the future, however, anything is possible. Whether or not something this concept in production form would carry a Hyundai badge is negligible, the brand’s production arm, Genesis, is more likely to produce a production model of this caliber.

  • Leave it
    • Probably won’t see production
    • a little gawdy
    • No functional drivetrain to speak of


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Press release

Hyundai Motor today unveiled the ’Le Fil Rouge’ concept car at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, marking a new beginning for Hyundai design and providing a glimpse of its future design direction. As its name implies, ‘Le Fil Rouge’ (English translation: common thread) is a reflection of Hyundai’s belief that the brand’s past, present and future designs are all connected.

“‘Le Fil Rouge’ is a reinterpretation of Hyundai’s design DNA that originated from the brand’s historical Hyundai Coupe Concept in 1974,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and head of Hyundai Design Center. “Building on our long history of creating distinctive and sporty character in vehicles, we will open a new era for Hyundai design.”

“Our goal is to build a beloved brand by creating vehicles with heightened emotional value to reshape the landscape of car design. This is the foundation of our concept,” added Sang-yup Lee, Head of Hyundai Styling.

The new concept is an introduction to the brand’s latest approach in design: the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ theme will be embodied by all future Hyundai vehicles, ranging from sedans to SUVs. The goal of this new theme is to bring instinctive beauty, creating emotional value and desirability in Hyundai vehicles. The design mission is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements: proportion, architecture, styling and technology.


‘Le Fil Rouge’ creates a proportional character based on the golden-ratio – a common mathematical ratio found in nature – which enabled Hyundai designers to create an aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking composition that embodies charisma. Proportional uniqueness is achieved through a long wheel base, large wheels and short overhangs. A respectful dash-to-axle – the distance from front wheel center to base of windshield – provides a comfortable driving position, whilst a higher beltline completes the overall look.


With ‘Le Fil Rouge’, Hyundai took a new approach called ‘Light Architecture’, to integrate a progressive identity into the brand’s design heritage. Light Architecture generates a dynamic look and forward motion effect for the vehicle. The front and the rear pillars as well as the roof are seamlessly blended into the overarching silhouette of the car - as though the car is drawn with a single line.

The exterior and interior are smoothly merged by the ‘Tube Architecture’, keeping the exterior’s sensuous and sporty character consistent inside the vehicle. The Tube Architecture’s principle is to create the same emotional value inside and outside the vehicle, while also allowing for a lightweight profile.

The interior design differentiates between the needs of both the driver and passengers. The front passenger seat maximises comfort even on long-distance trips with more ample leg room, while the driver’s seat is designed to add to the fun on driving with optimised ergonomics. A wrap-around architecture emphasises depth, creating a calm, spacious and comfortable travel environment for everyone in the car.


Another goal of the team was to create a vehicle that is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai from a distance. This was achieved by creating a sensuous tension on the side through a harmonious blend of layered crisp lines and pure volumes. Concave and convex forms are carefully orchestrated to provide a sexy character. The concept’s distinctive ambience is also recognisable with a wide, layered front hood, combined with a further enhanced Cascading Grille. The next level of the Cascading Grille comes with a three-dimensional treatment, featuring parametric jewels inside, which gives the vehicle a commanding presence.


A core design principle for Hyundai designers was to create a design that enables a seamless experience of function. Inspired by aircraft ventilation, a two-way air ventilation system blows air over the curved surface of lightweight tube architecture. Revitalised wood and high-tech fabrics are used extensively throughout and sculpted into exquisite, sensuous forms. This evokes natural beauty with an emotional touch to add an airy feel to vehicle. Meanwhile, a panoramic floating display coupled with haptic technology sits in front of the driver, providing access to intuitive controls for climate control and other vehicle configurations.

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