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Mobil­i­ty with Atti­tude (MWA)- Hyundai Le Fil Rouge con­cept pre­views design and IoT future

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept previews design and IoT future

Hyundai may have its Gen­e­sis brand for its lux­u­ry aspi­ra­tions, but the new Le Fil Rouge con­cept car sug­gests the automaker’s design­ers aren’t quite ready to give up the high-end mar­ket yet. Revealed at the Gene­va Motor Show 2018 today, the siz­able sedan is billed as a vision not only of Hyundai’s design lan­guage for its next gen­er­a­tion of cars, but how it sees arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and oth­er tech­nol­o­gy in auto­mo­tive devel­op­ing.

The out­side is a huge, sil­ver teardrop, all cur­va­ceous lines with a few crisp creas­es along the way. Hyundai calls it “Sen­su­ous Sporti­ness” and it’s all about bring­ing togeth­er ele­ments of archi­tec­ture with tech­nol­o­gy. “The goal is to cre­ate an aes­thet­ic bond through­out the future range,” Hyundai insists, claim­ing that its cus­tomers choose the automaker’s cars because of design first and fore­most.

The out­side is good, but the inte­ri­or is arguably bet­ter. Hyundai has suc­cumbed to the usu­al show-car con­ceit of hav­ing rear-hinged back doors, which allow the whole side of the vehi­cle to open up and expose the cab­in. Prac­ti­cal­ly, that’s not exact­ly the most fea­si­ble route for a pro­duc­tion car to take, but it does expose what excel­lent work the automaker’s design­ers have done with the cab­in.

You notice first the struc­ture of the doors, which have been left uncapped. You can see into them, where wood veneer coex­ists with struc­tur­al met­al brac­ing like the inte­ri­or of a zep­pelin. Hyundai has made plen­ti­ful use of neg­a­tive space, carv­ing out huge swathes of the door pan­els and dash­board, lin­ing them with arcs and dips of wood, and giv­ing the Le Fil Rouge’s cab­in an airy, spa­cious feel­ing as a result.

The same strat­e­gy car­ries through to the seats, which are more like min­i­mal­is­tic loungers than what you’d typ­i­cal­ly find in a car. As for the switchgear, Hyundai keeps that to a min­i­mum. There’s some gor­geous burled met­al to the knobs, for exam­ple, but oth­er but­tons sim­ply glow through the fab­ric cov­ered steer­ing wheel or oth­er pan­els, and are trig­gered with a light touch.

It’s some­thing we hope Hyundai brings over to its pro­duc­tion vehi­cles, because it’s a much calmer, tac­tile, and more relax­ing inter­pre­ta­tion of what the mod­ern dash­board could be. Then again, we may mere­ly be talk­ing to our future cars instead, at least as the Le Fil Rouge sees it.

The con­cept pre­views what Hyundai has brand its Intel­li­gent Per­son­al Cock­pit, blend­ing togeth­er voice con­trol with con­nect­ed devices both local and remote. While you can inter­act with the car’s own sys­tems by voice, it also sup­ports remote­ly acti­vat­ing your IoT devices at home. For exam­ple, Hyundai sug­gests, you’d be able to con­trol appli­ances while out of the house, all from speak­ing to the dash­board.

While you’re in the car, mean­while, the Le Fil Rouge con­cept is keep­ing an eye on you, too. Hyundai Well­ness Care uses sen­sors in the seat and steer­ing wheel to track the driver’s stress lev­els. Get worked up from traf­fic con­ges­tion or bad behav­ior from your fel­low dri­vers, and the car can play relax­ing music or even change the cab­in light­ing to calm you down.

How much of that will actu­al­ly make it to a pro­duc­tion vehi­cle remains to be seen. Hyundai says the core ideas of the Le Fil Rouge will grad­u­al­ly trick­le down to its pro­duc­tion cars, though the mood-track­ing mag­ic prob­a­bly won’t arrive in deal­er­ships any time soon.

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