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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
yet another design concept from hyundai and this one plugs in

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]

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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?

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic As a side note, have you looked at a Consumers Report lately? In the past, they would compare 3 or 4 station wagons, or compact SUVs, or sedans per edition. Now, auto reporting is reduced to a report on one single vehicle in the entire edition. I guess CR realized that cars are not as important as they once were.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
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