We may have to wait for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show to figure out how to pronounce the name of the new Hyundai ix-onic Crossover Concept. (Is that “ick-onic”, “ichs-onic,” or the presumptuous “iconic”?)
For now, we’ll lift their own description, and refer to the concept as an “urban nomad.” It’s appropriate for a small, high-function crossover. Let’s face it, despite all the TV ads showing SUVs and CUVs fording streams and climbing to the highest mountain peeks, most folks simply use them to haul their stuff around town.
Developed at the Hyundai design studio, in Russelsheim, Germany, the sculpted concept vehicle’s high-contrast paint scheme is designed to emphasize the flowing lines of a body that measures just 14.5 feet, nose-to-tail, 6.0 feet wide, and 5.5 feet tall. A new, hexagonal grille is on its way to become a Hyundai brand signature. A high belt line flows off the front and rear wheel arches, giving the ix-onic a solid, planted feel. Those wheel arches have a double-zigzag feel to emphasize the sporty dynamics of the new concept.
Perhaps the most interesting element of the design is the rear window, developed in cooperation with supplier SABIC Innovative Plastics. Made of Lexan, rather than glass, it has been molded into a more three-dimensional shape than normal, and is flanked by vertical spoilers, which reduce aerodynamic drag.
The interior underscores the steady, upscale march of the Hyundai brand. The ix-onic concept seats five in luxurious comfort. An X-shaped visual theme is repeated throughout the cockpit. High-mounted speakers underscore the integration of plenty of advanced electronic hardware, such as a blind-spot warning system.
The advanced powertrain starts with a 170-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injection inline-four gasoline engine. It features a fuel-saving Stop-and-Go system, and the six-speed double-clutch transmission connects to an all-wheel-drive driveline. For global warming-conscious Europeans, the ix-onic is reported to produce just 149 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
According to insiders, the overall design theme of the Geneva concept gives a strong hint of where Hyundai is heading with future global SUV products.