We are accustomed to seeing sinewy concept cars from the traditional Italian design houses debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, but it is a surprise to see one of the show's most exotic concepts debuted by a Korean manufacturer.
Hyundai is working furiously to make the statement that it belongs alongside the world's leading automakers, even in terms of style and performance. Which is why the company has hired designers like Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Center and Sang-yup Lee, Vice President and Head of Hyundai Styling, from their previous employer, Bentley.
The ex-Bentley boys set out to make an immediate impact with their current employer in producing the Le Fil Rouge concept.
“‘Le Fil Rouge’ is a reinterpretation of Hyundai’s design DNA that originated from the brand’s historical Hyundai Coupe Concept in 1974,” said Donckerwolke. “Building on our long history of creating distinctive and sporty character in vehicles, we will open a new era for Hyundai design.”
“Our goal," added Lee, "is to build a beloved brand by creating vehicles with heightened emotional value to reshape the landscape of car design. This is the foundation of our concept.”
The designers adhered to traditional notions of opulence, imbuing the design with a long wheelbase, short overhangs at each end and that ever-present signal of power, large wheels.
A teardrop profile completes the look, lending the impression of movement and speed while also slicing efficiently through the air for maximum fuel efficiency and performance.
In the cabin, designers applied wood and high tech fabrics sculpted into sensuous forms meant to lend an emotional touch to a high-tech design.
As a statement of intent, Hyundai's message with the Le Fil Rouge is unmistakable: "We have arrived!"