ix-Metro concept brings space-travel design to the city!
The ix-Metro, the fifth in the Hyundai Namyang Design (HND) series of concept cars to be created by the Global Design Team in Korea, is an entry-level hybrid CUV which brings a new form to the traditional sub-B segment.
Targeting young European urbanites, the ix-Metro offers all the practicality, robustness and versatility of a CUV in a stylishly sophisticated package.
For thematic inspiration, the design team reached for the stars and during ideation sessions immersed themselves in the rich visual world of space travel — the ultimate aspiration of mobility. “We wanted the ix-Metro to be something out of this world. We took our inspiration from NASA and even sci-fi movies because spacecraft are universally understood symbols of progress and innovation,” explained Rogelio J. Flores, Chief designer on the ix-Metro project.
Following an internal competition, the winning concept was selected for its faithfulness to the design objective.
The ix-Metro is expressly targeted at the urbanite who wants to project a trendy, adventurous and fun-seeking personality. “The ix-Metro caters to the need for creative self-expression. Our cars are more than an extension of ourselves, they’re an expression of our inner selves: Just like the clothes we wear, our cars serve as a second skin,” said Flores.
The ix-Metro represents a striking departure from the flowing design language adopted by Hyundai in its recent production and concept cars. It explores a new direction with its use of faceted surfaces and strong triangulating lines along the bonnet, side and rear panels achieving a pleasing dynamic tension. The high beltline gives a protective feeling, while twenty-inch rims framed by flanged wheel arches give the vehicle a purposeful muscular stance.
The triangular motif has also been applied to the front and rear lighting elements for a futuristic effect. Up front, ice-blue LED lighting elements interplay with subtle shades of gold, while the faceted front grille with its integrated fog lamps projects a striking, imposing look. A comparable effect is mirrored by the rear optical group.
While to outward appearances the lack of a B-pillar may lead one to conclude the HND-5 adopts a conventional suicide door configuration, engineers rejected the rear-hinge in favor of a sliding mechanism for the rear door. The pillarless design not only enlarges the greenhouse to improve all-round visibility, but more importantly allows easier entry and egress into the rear passenger area, facilitated in large part by the novel and practical rear sliding door.
The idea of a protective capsule served as the guiding principle for the interior designers, who opted for a wraparound effect connecting the dashboard, center console, door panel and front seats for a strongly unified look.
“For thematic inspiration interior designers took a cue from the humble pine cone and its natural, elegant fragmentation of a spherical object.” explained Interior Design Manager Sandy Hartono. Surfaces for the seating, cargo space and other key panels are divided by light-filled gaps. The ice-blue illumination creates a high-tech neo-organic effect.
Interior designers have deliberately avoided the traditional solution of dividing and compartmentalizing heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and infotainment components. Instead, taking inspiration from Hollywood sci-fi movies, they have chosen a white semi-transparent silicon-like material to cover the dashboard area, which conceals the organic electro luminescence (OEL) central display to deliver route guidance information and key control icons. The effect is at once thoroughly modern and unified.
Other high tech accoutrements include digital side view cameras, whose ultra-slim profiles minimize air turbulence and wind noise, yet have maximized outward visibility for safety.
The central gauge cluster replicates the simplicity and functionality of cockpit flight instruments with a 3-D digital display which aims to reduce information to its simplest, most essential components.
Supporting the concept of a small-sized SUV are the foldable rear seats and cargo area, which are connected into one functional loading area. As for the front seats and front exterior illumination, ice-blue lighting is used to divide the cargo area into handy compartments for different purposes.
As a CUV, the ix-Metro conveys a feeling of safety, an all-important factor in today’s challenging urban environment. And with its greater ground clearance and higher seating position, which promotes improved forward visibility, the ix-Metro driver will simply feel safer. This psychological reassurance is often cited as one of the factors behind the sales success of CUVs. Standard safety equipment on the ix-Metro includes dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, plus ABS with ESP.
The ix-Metro promises to deliver zippy performance while striving to be ecologically-correct with CO2 emissions of just 80g/km thanks to its hybridized powertrain which is capable of 92kW @ 6000rpm. Displacing just 1-litre, the three-cylinder petrol engine incorporates highly sophisticated features to maximize output while minimizing fuel consumption. These include continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and direct injection. Up to 5kW of torque assistance comes from the starter motor-alternator with power stored in an ultracapacitor (Electric Double Layer) and a 12V battery. The hybrid system delivers 16.0kg.m of peak torque at 1750~4500rpm through a six-speed dual clutch transmission.
2 + 2
3-cylinder 1-litre Turbocharged GDI
12-valve DOHC with Dual CVVT
6-speed Dual Clutch Type
5kW integrated starter/alternator
12V augmented by Electric Double Layer Capacitor
Gross Vehicle Weight