"People are changing socially. In the restricted space of European cities they have evolved a new way of living and socializing, typically they visit lounge bars. These are not loud and flashy but more refined, warm spaces where people instinctively feel at ease. These increasingly sophisticated metro-oriented people are the target market for the next generation of B segment MPVs. So the car must evolve. It must reflect these changing social patterns and demands. We should approach this market with a vehicle which provides an extension of this lounge bar ambience". Not only that, but one which offers the whole benefits of web and computer technology in a fully functional, intuitive and simple way. With these ideas, Hyundai senior designer Eduardo Marchena and his team began to create the HED-1, a logical progression from the Hyundai E3 concept of 2004. The external design was conceived from the beginning to fit into the "happening" European cities, such as Paris, London, and Barcelona. Cities which have developed a traditional charisma from the varied styles and ages of architecture. Cities which originate trends. The design team created an elegant yet functional vehicle.
The sculpted appearance is carefully proportioned to emphasize strength and character, rather than speed. Integral to the design are angular and triangular LED head, tail and indicator lamps, adding a distinctly modern echo of art deco. "It is an elegant, mature statement. It seems to me a car to turn heads in any of the chic European capitals." Observes Gregory Guilliaume, chief designer for Hyundai. Yet the harmonious, voluptuous styling is merely the first striking aspect of the HED-1. Opening the doors reveals the practicality of the pillarless construction for entry and disembarkation in limited space.
The door frames themselves form an irregular oval structure which adds to the friendliness of the design. Once inside the first impression is of a dynamic space carefully co-ordinated to combine relaxation with social and communicative stimulation. By taking the Barolo red color of the exterior and allowing it to flow over the sills and into the natural leather lining, luggage tray and lower door panel trim, the Hyundai Europe color and trim design team led by Dominique Raye, matched texture and color to the basic "lounge" ideal. Black nubuck covered seats with white, ceramic-look, poly-carbonate shells integrate stylishly with a curved and friendly dashboard covered in white Amaretta. In front of the dashboard a mat black, full width video screen on the bulkhead extends the impression of the seat covers and upper door trims. A reassuringly sturdy, glossy, white steering wheel with aluminum indicator and gear change paddles, a small binnacle display for basic driving information and stylish accelerator and brake pedals which form a horizontal oval add flair to the drivers command position. All minor controls, such as the external mirror settings and the handbrake are flush-fitting and touch sensitive electronically operated. The result is a vehicle styled for those who demand exceptional quality in every aspect of their surroundings.