Hyundai swaps steering wheel for joysticks in Prophecy EV concept
It's motor show week... or it would be if the Geneva Motor Show hadn't been canceled due coronavirus concerns. Still, auto concepts are still being showcased, if only online. And the latest is from the Hyundai Motor Company, which has revealed a sporty electric runner where the steering wheel is replaced by joysticks.
The Prophecy concept looks a lot like something straight out of the design books at Porsche. The new "Sensuous Sportiness" concept is autonomous-ready, and offers a "completely new yet reassuringly familiar and intuitive driving experience" in the shape of two joysticks.
One of these is mounted to the door and the other to the raised center console, and they can both pivot left and right to control the direction of the vehicle in manual driving mode. Vehicle functions can be accessed via integrated buttons.
The lack of steering wheel means that there are no visual obstructions to the pillar-to-pillar digital display or the windshield, but joystick control may take some getting used to.
The center console flows into the back of the four-seat stretched cabin, and the interior features low intensity lighting and a soothing color scheme to encourage stress-free travels. Filtered air from intakes situated at the bottom of the reversed-hinge side doors circulates around the cabin, before being scrubbed again on its way out.
Outside, the sporty electric number boasts sweeping curves, a long wheelbase and short overhang, propeller-like aero wheels that draw air in and direct it down the side of the car, and a rear spoiler for extra stability when zipping along at speed.
The headlight, taillight and spoiler all feature pixelated lamps, first seen in last year's 45 EV, the number representing the years since the car it was based on – the Pony Coupe – was unveiled. Hyundai has confirmed that such animated lighting elements will be incorporated in future production models, and will hopefully be subtle pulses rather than the distracting dancing lights shown on the spoiler below.
As this is a design concept, no motor, battery or performance specs have been shared, though components can be seen through transparent acrylic, a design element that extends to the headlamps, camera monitoring system and spoiler. A wide air intake below the bumper will help keep the batteries cool.
"We have brought to life yet another icon that establishes a new standard for the EV segment as well as pushing Hyundai’s design vision to even broader horizons," said SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. "A part of that expansion is what we call Optimistic Futurism, a design concept embodied by ‘Prophecy.’ With Optimistic Futurism, our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles."
Hyundai is aiming to have 44 electrified vehicles in its line up by 2025, and it expects to be selling more that 670,000 battery and fuel cell EVs every year thereafter. No production plans have been announced for the Prophecy, the concept is a hint at the kind of vision the company has for its e-mobility future but hopefully some of the design will make it through to a road-ready electric vehicle.
Source: Hyundai Motor