By on March 4, 2020

While prophecies have a habit of coming true in films and books, they rarely come to pass here in reality. Sadly, this will probably be the case with Hyundai’s new concept EV — appropriately named the Prophecy.

Responding to a voicemail left by the God of Electrification, Hyundai has moved on what is arguably one of the best-looking concept designs since the 1938 Phantom Corsair. Black, minimalist and extremely retro-futuristic, both cars rely almost entirely on the long lines of the respective aerodynamic shells to make an impression, with small details providing additional, attention-grabbing flourishes.

Hyundai says the timeless design was intentional, yet it still manages to adhere to the brand’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design philosophy. Truth be told, we’ve had a difficult time finding a common theme among its latest concepts. Some are all angles (45 Concept) while others are all about smooth curves (Le Fil Rouge Concept). The only real through line seems to be that they all look rather good wherever they’re displayed.

The manufacturer does claim that these cars have commonalities beyond a shared brand. The progressive head-and-tail lamp setup that debuted on the angular 45 can be found on Prophecy. The cars also share uncluttered exterior designs that allow these features to shine more brightly. The new concept takes things a bit further, however, by integrating an tastefully sized spoiler made of a transparent acrylic. The design is said to be aerodynamically sound while also allowing it to function as a third brake light.

The interior is equally impressive, albeit less realistic. Hyundai says the hypothetical model’s status as an EV permits for a open cabin environment, but the hyper-detailed mood lighting and wild structure is never going to make it to market on any mainstream model manufactured this decade. That will also be true for the joystick-based steering system — something other automakers have dabbled with before deciding it wasn’t going to usurp the wheel.

As this is a concept vehicle, there are also promises of autonomy and multiple drive modes that reconfigure the cockpit. This, again, pushes the the Prophecy into fantasy land, at least until automakers have a new set of safety regulations to work with. The necessary technology to make such a feature useful also hasn’t manifested yet. However, Hyundai’s Prophecy is all about looking toward the brand’s future and makes no promise of being in showrooms in any form — a minor tragedy, in our estimation.

Instead, the brand claims the Prophecy exists to showcase the advantages offered by Hyundai’s own electric platform as it prepares to expand its product lineup to include 44 electrified vehicles by 2025.

We’re not all that excited by a glut of EVs and know manufacturers routinely make bold promises they never manage to adhere to. So there’s little need to break out the party poppers and beer. But if the Prophecy does signal the future of the company’s ever-evolving design language (electric or otherwise), consider us intrigued.

The handsome Hyundai was supposed to appear at the Geneva Motor Show this week, but the complications stemming from the coronavirus outbreak in Europe made that impossible. That’s a shame, since candid photos often do a car better justice than the shadowy renderings issued by manufacturers over the internet. Assuming the New York Auto Show isn’t similarly cancelled on account of plague, we’re hoping to see it in person this April.

[Images: Hyundai]

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27 Comments on “Hyundai Shares Its Prophecy With the World...”


  • avatar
    Moparmann

    Wow! Hyundai just keeps on getting better. A long, long way from the Excel! This is a really beautiful execution!

    • 0 avatar
      Mike-NB2

      Well, as a Canadian, I can say that they’re a long, long, long way from the Pony. (And the Stellar, too. Both of those cars were pretty much biodegradable here in Atlantic Canada. The Excel was light years ahead of the Pony and Stellar.)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Very interesting. I actually like the look of it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I dig the plaid (or tartan if you will).

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Apparently Hyundai/Kia has a real design center filled with people who have eyes and who can see what they’ve designed.

    GM has demonstrated it has just a few chimps and they are blind. There is no talent at GM whatsovever in design.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      cprescott-

      Did you get laid off from GM or purchased a lemon?

      Please do share……………

    • 0 avatar

      If they have “design team” why their current cars looks so ugly? I am talking about Hyundai. It is easy to to come up with concept – just ask Italian design firm or coach builder.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      To me it seems that GM has two teams: Team A designs their concepts, which are generally phenomenal. Team B chews up those concepts and spits them back out into the garbage disposal, which is then collected in the elbow under the sink and freeze-dried into the production form.

  • avatar
    agroal

    I must be missing something. It’s fugly. The emperor has no clothes.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Now we are talking!

  • avatar
    loner

    Ford Probe meets Porsche 997.

    That’s not a bad thing.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…it prepares to expand its product lineup to include 44 electrified vehicles by 2025”

    I love my Ioniq EV, but I have difficulty believing this statement. Until H/K sells their EVs in 50 states (for starters), they’re not really committed.

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      I think they’re probably just not keeping up with battery production sources. Tesla definitely has an edge, as their own battery manufacturer, but I think that’s less to do with commitment than it is with resources being tied up elsewhere…and Tesla suckering the stupid investor crowd into ladeling cash into its pockets.

  • avatar

    It looks like Hyundai will scare hell out of Porsche. Do not consider it as a prophecy though, Hyundai is nowhere near.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    To me this is what a car would look like if Porsche decided to make a out there concept car that explored core 911 design themes.

  • avatar
    multicam

    Looks decent to me. Like they mixed an Audi, Bugatti Veyron and Mercedes CLS with a little Model 3 in the front there.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Pile on: Porsche called, they want their car back!

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    I understand that concept car design is rarely feasible for mass production, but how can Hyundai continually create these really attractive, cohesive concepts and then put out awkward, angular, transformer-looking product? Can’t *some* of this design language make it into their product?

    Also, why is this a Hyundai concept and not a Genesis?

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    All modern design is derivative these days so I’m going to dispense with the “XYZ Motors want their car back.”

    I think they should put a car into production just like this. Put some clear acrylic over the fiddly bits in the rear so cleaning won’t be impossible. Use standard controls that everyone is used to.

    Aside from issues of price, I see no reason why it wouldn’t sell well.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You are right, but in the world of derivative design one of the least derivative of the bunch is the Porsche 911. I mean the body shape is one thing…but then you put those seats in there? Seems too much Porsche to not be a Porsche to me but it does look good.

      Know what I’d like to see Hyundai do? Take that Excel that was on here a few days ago (It was the Mitsubishi version, but same car) and give it this treatment.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    As a concept, I think it’s beautiful. It also checks all of the concept boxes.
    No mirrors or door handles. Way out there interior sans steering wheel. But hey, if you’re going to dream…dream big.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I don’t care what people think enough to take German Engineering over Japanese.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    THAT is what an electric 911 looks like. Take your Taycan and shove it, Porsche, Hyundai has done the job right.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      It’s a Panamera ripoff, I mean, tribute.

      From above it looks like an electric shaver, or maybe an oversized hand-held stun gun. So there is truth in the old saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB2

    About 14 months ago I was about ready to pull the trigger on a Golf R. I’m in my early 50s and never even considered the Type R entirely because of it’s over-the-top looks. I was cross-shopping the Golf R against the GTI simply because the R was waaaaaay more car than I’d need. The problem with the GTI was that the only ones I could find were the Rabbit edition and all of those were in Cornflower Blue, which was still too over-the-top for me. Then the car gods threw me a gift with the GLI revealed at the Chicago Auto Show. I bought the first black one that came off the truck. I’ve had it about 49 weeks now and the honeymoon still isn’t over. Once spring hits and I get the steelies and winter tires off I’m expecting that’ll only prolong the honeymoon.

    I did go and look at a Civic Si and I found that even that was too much for me.

    (A few months ago I came up behind a while Type R on the highway. The owner had put massive aftermarket mud flaps on it. If you’re wondering, yes, you can make the Type R even uglier.)

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