Yet Another Design Concept From Hyundai, and This One Plugs In!

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

If you’re keeping track, the Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept is the seventh design study to roll out of Hyundai’s styling studio in recent memory. Appearing Wednesday at the L.A. Auto Show, the plug-in utility vehicle has the bad timing of debuting at the same moment Toyota unveiled a plug-in crossover you’ll soon be able to buy and drive home.

Unfortunate timing aside, the concept does give us a glimpse of Hyundai’s future.

That statement goes both for styling and technology. Currently, Hyundai’s crossover lineup plays host to exactly zero hybrids, and certainly no plug-in hybrids (kudos to the Kona for offering an electric version). It’s a different story on the other side of the Atlantic, however, and the brand’s domestic lineup could soon pick up some hybridization of its own.

Of course, design studios are more interested in stimulating emotion through shapes, lines, and curves, and the Vision T aims to project the brand’s Sensuous Sportiness design language into the future. What does Hyundai see in the Vision T? For starters, “speed and forward motion,” as well as “a ready-for-anything dynamic character.”

People who’ve spied the next-generation Tucson crossover claim they see a lot of that vehicle in the Vision T, or vice versa. Indeed, the Vision T Concept, whose length splits the difference between the current-gen Tucson and the Santa Fe, may be more of a preview of an imminent production model than we think. The company has stated in the past that its next Tucson will take people aback with its styling.

Going aggressive on the design front is now part of Hyundai’s strategy. Just look at the 2020 Sonata for proof. With this in mind, we’re forced to give the automaker’s statements re: the next Tucson more weight.

While swoopy CUVs proliferated in L.A. this year, the Vision T isn’t entirely unremarkable — you just need to look closer. For instance, that isn’t a grille; it’s a Parametric Air Shutter. And that means exactly what you think it means.

From Hyundai:

When stationary, the grille is closed and static. Once in motion, each individual cell of the grille design continues to move in a prescribed sequence, creating a truly dynamic forward demeanor. This dynamic character includes the functional effect of controlling airflow to the powertrain, optimizing aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

This writer is used to shutters being like the opposite of good children: Heard, but never seen. Besides the venetian grille and Integrated Hidden Signature Headlamp system (which starts out looking like chrome trim bits, then comes alive), the Vision T seems to be all about setting us up for a production vehicle that’s well on its way.

The next-generation Tucson debuts next year as a 2021 model.

[Images: Hyundai, Tim Healey/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 20, 2019

    The "Parametric Air Shutter" ought to work well in freezing rain.

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    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Nov 20, 2019

      @roloboto Korea extends to the north. Not to North Pole per se but North Korea. Talk about cold war, very cold war.

  • Scott25 Scott25 on Nov 20, 2019

    Is it just me, or are concept cars this decade more generic and forgettable than the production versions?

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.