Hyundai Made a Sexy Car. What the Heck? Here’s How They Did It

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Hyundai surprised the automotive world when it recently took the wraps off its unusually sexy Vision G Coupe Concept during the prestigious Monterey Car Week. A collective gasp and then some soul searching likely happened shortly afterwards, people surely contemplating what the world was coming to when the word “sexy” could legitimately be used to describe a Hyundai.

Initial reactions to the concept were split on opposite ends of the spectrum. People either thought it was beautiful and should be put into production right away, or they hated it and thought it was just a copycat. Either way, Chris Chapman, Hyundai’s chief U.S. designer, welcomes the strong opinions.

“I welcome polarization and the hot and cold,” he said in a recent interview during Pebble Beach festivities. “I’d rather have that than something lukewarm, which doesn’t make a statement.”

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Peter Schreyer, Hyundai/Kia’s design director, agrees.

“If there is some friction and if there are opposite opinions, this is a good thing,” he said. “Being neutral is not what we want.”

The Vision G is anything but neutral and it generated a lot of buzz when it was unveiled, arguably because it was so controversial. Characterized by its strong yet elegant lines, the concept for a future grand touring sports coupe has a design that’s bold without being obscene. Keeping it clean and simple was Hyundai’s secret for success.

“Peter and I are really into simple design and hate when superficiality becomes the thing that disguises bad proportions and extra design elements that are not needed,” Chapman said. “It’s a perfect design when you can’t eliminate any more lines. If you take away one element, the whole thing falls apart like Jenga. We took away as much as possible, and the design still has integrity.”

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Previews Future of Design with Vision G Coupe Concept

Proper proportion is something many automakers struggle with, and if a car’s proportion is off, it won’t sit right with consumers. A proper proportion was one of Hyundai’s main design goals for the Vision G, Schreyer said.

“People talk too much about shapes and lines,” he said. “For me, the big picture and proportion is always more important. I want people to immediately know from a distance what a car is.”

Hyundai Vision G Coupe Concept-3Schreyer used to design at Audi and is credited with helping design the now iconic Audi TT. He said he learned a lot from his time at the German automaker.

“To me, Audi was a very good school. We learned about the same things we’re taking about today. Things like precision and the way you do a proper proportion.”

He sees Kia and Hyundai following in a similar trajectory as Audi. Before Audi became the huge seller it is today, it used to be an automotive afterthought, a quirky European automaker without much prestige or presence in the market. The big picture goal is to one day have Hyundai and Kia have a larger market share and be top of mind for consumers when it comes to luxury cars, kind of like Audi.

SEE ALSO: Hyundai N Performance Brand to Launch With Wild New Concept Car

The Vision G is one step in that direction. When it was unveiled, some critics said that from some angles, it looked too much like an Infiniti, a Bentley, a Jaguar, or an Aston Martin. Some said Hyundai stole the interior right out of a Mercedes S-Class. What was important here is that no one said it looked like something lower-end; these are all upmarket brands, so these criticisms are actually compliments in Hyundai’s eyes.

Hyundai Vision G Coupe Concept-50

“This is meant to be a high-end car, so the associations are there for a purpose,” Schreyer said (pictured, left). “If people didn’t say that, then we probably have failed.”

Chapman (pictured, right) adds that cars that create an emotional connection will help elevate the brand.

“The company has made big strides in getting themselves on the map and getting into the consciousness of the people. They did that by playing with emotional cars. We finally went from bland to grand,” he said. “As long as we can stay on this course of emotional appeal, we’re going to be in a really good position.”

Discuss this story at our Hyundai Forum

  • Shooter

    Now That is a good looking CAR !

  • dariansdad

    They lost me with that signature “big mouth” grill. Also, where’s the suicide doors?

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Anything with 4 doors should have suicide doors imo.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Is it really that hard to make a car look sexy? Seriously, I want to see some sexy sub-compacts and compacts etc. Why are the good looks reserved for the rich?

  • Hughbert

    If they priced this car lower than 150,000. I think it will be failed. But I don’t think it will sell well if it’s higher than 80,000 because it is a Hyundai. However I think if it’s lower than 80,000 it will be cheep looking car because these car’s producing cost is incredible (in fact the Bentley segment making huge loss every year in the VW AG). And more, most important thing of these hi-end cars is engine. Do you really think Hyundai/Kia can produce hi-end class engine? Like Mercedes and Bentley does. Unfortunately no. They have only GDi engine and it is not the Bentley nor the Aston’s. And who wants to buy car which is Hyundai with fake Aston logo on instead of beautiful S class coupe?

  • bartisgod

    It looks like they took a cheap knockoff of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage and stuffed it into a compact car body. They even copied the badge. If this goes into production, there’s no way they won’t get sued over it. The only thing they didn’t imitate is the taillights. Yes, its sexy. A 12 year old could make a sexy product by copying an image they found on Google.

  • Jared Ferguson

    LOL the entire Ford sedan and coupe line copied the Aston Martins, oh wait most car companies copied that. Same goes for phones remember when iPhone was the only thing with Round edges. Thank god people copied them. Once someone finds something that works they tend to imitated. What is it they say about imitation and flattery?

  • jose

    looks like a Bentley Car

    !!!!

  • MikeAtTheBeach

    Dending on features, I would consider it at an Audi A7 price. Not more.