Hyundai says the Prophecy concept illustrates the ultimate automotive form

Ronan Glon



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Hyundai is on a quest to extract complexity from its design department in order to make its cars purer and more minimalist. It introduced a concept named Prophecy to illustrate the direction it will take future electric models in.

The company calls its next design language Optimistic Futurism, and it explained its aim is to "forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles." We could easily argue this link was established over 100 years ago, but that's not the purpose of this piece. Back to the road: the Prophecy stands out as a swoopy, low-slung sedan that breaks all ties with current members of the Hyundai range. Its low, grille-less front end wears pixel-like headlights reminiscent of the 45 concept unveiled in 2019, and its roof line is steep enough to earn the fastback label. It flows into a rear end characterized by broad shoulders, a spoiler, and a wide panel made up of LEDs.

Are we the only ones detecting a little bit of Porsche DNA in this design? Hyundai begs to differ; it instead bragged its designers have achieved nothing less than the ultimate automotive form. It likened it to a perfectly weathered pebble, and it pointed out the propeller-shaped wheels direct air down the side of the body like water over a stone. The Prophecy's dimensions haven't been released yet, but it looks like a reasonably big sedan.

Similarly, Hyundai hasn't released technical specifications. All we know about the concept's drivetrain is that it's entirely electric, and that its battery pack is housed under the passenger compartment. Ditching gasoline allowed designers to give the Prophecy a surprisingly spacious interior with four seats, a color screen that occupies most of the real estate under the windshield, and a pair of pivoting joysticks that replace the steering wheel.

We wouldn't bet on seeing the Prophecy reach showrooms as-is anytime soon, but it shows how Hyundai envisions its design language evolving as it rolls out an array of electric models in the coming years. One aspect of the Prophecy that's already on its way to customers is the pixel motif in the lights. The production version of the aforementioned 45 concept — which has morphed into a crossover — will usher in this styling cue in 2021.

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