Monday, November 29, 2021

Hyundai goes really big with its latest electric concept SUV

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Hyundai revealed a new electric vehicle concept at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, showing how its scalable EV platform can be stretched to accommodate extra-large SUVs. The Hyundai Seven is built on the automaker’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which also underpins the upcoming Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60.

Unlike those vehicles, though, the Hyundai Seven is just a concept and isn’t guaranteed to go into production. That said, given how popular SUVs are with the car-buying public, it seems likely that the Seven will eventually reach dealerships in some form or the other. (Hyundai’s 45 concept eventually became the Ioniq 5.)

Using chargers with 350kW capacity, the Hyundai Seven is capable of charging from 10 percent to 80 percent in about 20 minutes. The automaker is also targeting a range of “over 300 miles.”

The Seven is one of the biggest concepts we’ve seen from the South Korean automaker, with a wheelbase that stretches 10.5 feet, which is longer than the Cadillac Escalade. The extra-tall grille also puts this concept firmly in the “dangerously large” camp of vehicles that includes the Escalade and other oversized SUVs and trucks. (Read this for more information about why front blindspots are a growing problem for the auto industry.)

With coach-style doors, adjustable seating, and retractable controls, the Hyundai Seven is also a vision of what the automaker’s autonomous vehicles may look like in the future. A bench seat sweeps around from the rear to the side, while individual captain’s seats are able to pivot and slide around. The driver’s seat features a retractable control stick that hides away when not in use.

Automakers love concept cars that tease a future in which people ride around in autonomous vehicles that look like luxurious living spaces. Other car companies, such as BMW, Volvo, and Audi, have projected similar ideas onto their concepts, with interiors transformed into “third places” in which we work, eat, sleep, and socialize.

Hyundai is also putting emphasis on hygiene, with the understanding that in our post-pandemic world, people may want features that can help keep their vehicles sanitized. The interior surfaces are comprised of renewable and recycled materials like bamboo, as well copper and hygienically treated fabric.

Hyundai took inspiration from airplane cabins in designing an HVAC system that has both a horizontal and vertical mode to control airflow. And when everyone has left the vehicle, the Seven’s built-in UVC lights sterilize everything.

Unlike previous concepts, like the excessively rad Heritage Series Grandeur restomod EV, the Seven’s roots lie firmly in the future. How much of these design elements make it through to an actual production car will say a lot about Hyundai’s commitment to going big.

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