Hyundai, the car company with a reputation for making high-value cars affordable, has aimed its sights at the two-seat roadster market. Making its European debut at the 71st Geneva Motor Show is the new, Hyundai HCD6 roadster, dubbed the "affordable exotic car."
"This concept car provides a strong indication of where Hyundai is going in the sporty car market," said Bert Kreber, Vice President, Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe. "The HCD6 is a car that is fun to drive, fun to look at and fun to own. When you can just look at a car and have it put a smile on your face, it's a winner."
The Hyundai HCD6 is aimed at those drivers who are young at heart and use their vehicles as an expression of freedom. "We feel the HCD6 will appeal to young people and to baby boomers who enjoy driving with the wind in their hair," Kreber added.
The Hyundai HCD6 Roadster was styled by the talented team at the HATCI California Design studio in Fountain Valley, California, located near the famed shores of Newport Beach. The two-seat open top roadster has many unique design features including detached, floating front and rear carbon fiber bumpers, a clear, see-through engine cover and high-mount exhaust. "The most striking feature is a deeply sculpted side air intake system," said HCD Senior Designer Dragan Vukadinovic who led the exterior design team on the HCD6. "The entire side of the car serves as ducting to the engine. This design also improves aerodynamics by taking normally turbulent wheel well air, smoothing it out and using it for engine cooling."
A striking design deserves a striking paint job and the HCD6 is finished with a unique teal and dark purple color using an experimental pigment supplied by DuPont. The three-stage Mysteria paint system allows the HCD6 to change color from dark purple to teal, based on the angle of viewing.
The front end features distinctive prismatic headlights. Eight lighting elements are fed from an efficient centralized "light engine" and delivered via fiber optics to the lights. The outboard projector beam lights turn with the front wheels providing the driver with a clear view ahead for spirited night driving.
The rear deck of the Hyundai HCD6 slopes away from the seats and displays the 2.7-liter V-6 engine via a see-through engine cover. Dual fuel inlets reflect the performance spirit of the HCD6. The high-mount exhaust sits above the floating rear bumper and it is surrounded by a ceramic heat shield.
Hyundai's new concept roadster sits on high-performance 245/45-18 run-flat tires mounted on custom-machined billet alloy wheels. The unique design of the wheels was inspired by the shape of a propeller.
The engine is a modified, high-performance version of the sophisticated 2.7-liter DOHC Hyundai V-6 engine used in the Santa Fe sport utility. The high-performance engine is matched to a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission.
The cockpit of the Hyundai HCD6 roadster is a simple, functional place for enjoying the driving experience. A unique single roll bar rises from the center console. "This design provides protection and, by being in line with the axis of the car, improves aerodynamics as well," said Andrew Kort, Senior Designer at the Hyundai California Design Studio and the person responsible for the design of the interior.
"The open, structural shapes were inspired by windsurfing and kite flying. For example, the panel section has a unique concave shape representing a sail filling with air," he added.
The simple, minimal console acts as a bridge across the "open air." There are only two knobs visible on the instrument panel, the control knob for the stereo system and the control knob for the HVAC. The stereo control also functions as the lid for the CD/MP3 player.
The simple and straightforward design carries through to the dashboard instruments. A large, round analog tachometer is complemented by a speedometer. Two smaller gauges (fuel and oil pressure) float in the concave dial section. The remaining instruments provide information only when necessary via a warning light system. The dials on the gauges feature a unique pointer and dual magnifying feature inspired by classic watch face design. The round dial fits into a tall, narrow shroud that resembles a windsurfing sail.
The door trim carries on the minimal, simple theme with the armrest, speaker grille and courtesy lamp all enclosed in a single, lightweight enclosure. The see-through Lexalite enclosure has a triangular theme that is repeated throughout the interior and includes the knobs and the seat itself.
The enclosure is stepped off the door panel, echoing the sensation of being filled with air. The interior features unique materials including Lexalite acrylic panels on the doors, center console and instrument cluster. A lightweight, stretch fabric is used on the doors and seats. The entire interior is tied together with smooth leather and metal accents.
Following its world debut at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show, the HCD6 will be displayed at key auto shows around the world. There are currently no plans to build a production version of the HCD6, however certain design and style elements from the HCD6 may be included in future Hyundai production cars.