Hyundai has debuted its view of the medium sized car of the near future at the Geneva Motor Show – the fascinating E³ concept car.
The E³ (E cubed) is a vision of how Hyundai sees the C-segment developing, in a revolutionary design package – and is the latest product of Hyundai’s European Design Centre in Germany.
Michael Fink, Chief Designer at the European Design Centre, said: "This is essentially a car designed from the inside out. A way of evaluating and preparing to answer the demands and needs of customers who will be seeking more comfort, more quality, more utility and less stress in future motoring."
The interior is designed to give a soothing effect to the driver and passengers, with widespread use of leather and pastel shades. But if the occupants look up, they will see the real revolution. A subtly tinted-polarised glass roof with a ‘floating’ opaque panel carries courtesy lights and sun visors, and provides filtered ambient light.
The E³ has the ability to seat four adults in real comfort. Unique seat mountings offer multiple configurations, and add a spacious and airy "walk through" dimension to the front area. A multi-tiered centre console containing large, unobtrusive and integrated storage spaces is "suspended" between the front seats reaching rearwards.
In reducing driver stress, attention has also been directed to the instruments and controls. Conventional dials and gauges have been dispensed with, replaced by a multi function speedometer, plus a retractable centre console featuring an LCD information screen developed in conjunction with VDO. There is also a vertically sliding communications centre.
Special two part hinges allow the doors to be opened to 90 degrees. The E³ also boasts an electrically operated bicycle carrier integrated into the rear number plate mounting.
Power for the E³ comes from a modified version of Hyundai’s 1.8 petrol engine. A running concept, the E³ delivers 140bhp.
With a wheelbase length of 2650mm and 4150mm overall, the E³ is not based upon any current Hyundai platform, although the traditional MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension maintain similarities with current production cars. The 16 inch ventilated disc brakes are by Brembo and the E³ rides on 19 inch alloy wheels.Published 7 March 2004