Styling / Philosophy

"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.

Sociability / Functionality

A space in which to enjoy all the demands of city living, packed into a B-segment MPV was part of the original concept behind HED-1. Technology and communications were vital elements in this thinking. Between the front seats in the position usually reserved for the gear stick is an interface control column. On it a round selector bearing the Hyundai logo activates all the systems of the car, including the door mounted ambient lighting strips. Above this four different press buttons control entertainment, communications, navigation and climate. Pressing any of them will bring up the appropriate menu on the full width bulkhead screen.

Rotating the selector then allows easy individual menu navigation and selection. Also, as this central control column can be removed and used remotely from any location in the vehicle, it reinforces the social and sharing aspects of the design. One immediate benefit of this is that the rear passengers can easily select their own preferences in terms of climate, communication and entertainment, without having to intrude upon the concentration of the driver or the patience of the front passenger. Another is that any passenger can bring up whatever the driver wishes on the forward screen display, enabling him to fully concentrate on driving. A further social refinement is that both front seats swivel through a full 180 degrees. A folding table rises from the central console and the HED-1 is transformed into mobile conference room, a cocooned and relaxing personal space perfectly suited to elegant picnicking, or whatever the imagination invents or demands. Another ground-breaking feature of the HED-1 is the way the space can be optimized. While the front seats remain firmly positioned, the dashboard and pedals slide for optimum comfort. The rear seats are electrically operated, sliding back or forward to fit the need for space. Maximum luggage space is achieved by sliding them fully forward. The two tier, sliding luggage platform then extends forwards to give more load space. Increasing the rear legroom is merely a matter of sliding the seats backwards. The loading platform then automatically recedes. The flexibility of this design also eases loading, the top tier extending some 250 mm rearwards once the rear sill has been lowered.

Practicality

Portico is powered by Hyundai's new, high-tech Lambda V6 engine. It's a 24-valve, DOHC V6 with aluminum heads and cylinder block, mated to a six-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission soon to be offered in Hyundai's production vehicles. The Portico is also designed to accept Hyundai's hybrid drive system. This configuration features two electric motors; one driving the front wheels and a second driving the rear wheels, providing efficient AWD (all-wheel-drive) capability. Front power is supplied by a 110 kW (136 horsepower) electric motor; a 60 kW (83 horsepower) motor powers the rear wheels.

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