It’s not easy being green – or purple for that matter.
Purple patches: how the car industry seeks them out, wishing them unending. Barrels of confidence too, a strangely metaphorical catalyst. Combine the two and akin to many chemical reactions, effect closely follows cause. The Koreans have lately been planting purple by the acre, nurturing their allotments with generous amounts of confidence, the result being that the Seventh son has germinated. A concept large enough to rival contemporaries such as the Volvo XC90, another all electric family shifter, or indeed the now perfidious Sonderklasse, Hyundai’s epithet for the brute swells with confidence – this is a ‘Category Bending’ SUV.
Ignoring range (or its antithesis, anxiety) and dimensions, look deeply at this auto show reveal. The Seven may very well make it to production as is. Scoff at leisure, the Ionic 5 and 6 barely altered from their own concepts to lines rolling. The (practically) British Racing Green bio-paint makes a great first impression, highlighting how metal requires little, if any adornment. Flanks of elegance reside. Front wheel arch entasis, brawn to the rear. A counter over arch maybe a detail too far – removed for the facelift version, maybe?
Rear three quarter views reveal the gentle barrel roll to the belt line, eyes seeing strength without force. Whilst doubtful the poignée de porte will make it to job one, maybe Hyundai will surprise us. As with those pillarless coach-style doors, oozing with concept appeal with candle aping lights nestled. Regulations be damned – make it so! Prayers often go unanswered but perhaps it’s worth a try here.
As to the melted sand, behold, glazing aplenty to be found. Daft as it sounds, this must improve upon outward vision. Of course the Seven will have all available technology to halt your progress to the garden centre if deemed too swift but surely visible corners equate to better road positioning for those with but a hint of road positioning manners? The passengers too receive the chance to enjoy the passing vistas, free from smoked glass or pinched internal apexes – all quite revealing.
Maintaining the glazing theme, to the rear we must peer, for, no matter how one calls it, that’s one impressively large pane. Wired a certain way you’ll cry security risk. Others may repeat the Breadvan mantra. Hyundai may have stretched the stance of visuality but one does hope the Koreans have taken the covering of one’s chattels to heart. Regardless, the sheer transparency of the Seven’s rear is disarmingly welcoming.
Jewels that one expects to perform braking and directional change duties (with reversing lights a possibility?) frame that studio light. In the perfect environment of the press launch, full of architecture to emphasise the car (or the false lights of the car show), those jewels beguile this author. Perceptions may alter following a Seven on a busy, wet, motorway on a winter night but one hopes not. In the safety stakes, being seen is fifty percent of the battle.
You could always overtake in order to gander at the Seven’s frontispiece. There is a grille, similar to a trivet for cooling baked items upon with vertical light stacks to the edge. A grille, purposeless in use but confident in its address, the car’s face acceptably completed by the laser beam, pixel thin headlamp strip. Frequently underground urban farms employ such illumination to induce produce growth. Will such LED’s pierce oncoming drivers vision? Or have the Koreans tamed such problems?
Leaving the chaos of the drive behind, let us head into the refined and relaxed interior. A “future vision of autonomous mobility,” discards the norm of conventional seating, pedals and even steering wheel. Hyundai clearly sees the future of transport as open as a furniture catalogue living room. If our children are headed towards computers driving them, why not accommodate stylishly? A rear couch area, swivelling armchairs,a storage device akin to an Ottoman, and all from recycled materials.
A dashboard that will undoubtedly inform the latest NASDAQ info, how many folk in the nearest coffee shop have had booster jabs along with streaming your favourite choons at any speed. Lozenge shaped, hollowed out, ambient lit door recesses – plain, simple, seamless – integrated. Design head Sangyup Lee and team saw fit to install a fridge and shoe care compartment. Cold snacks to hand, your new Chelsea boots under controlled care – what better? Once empty of life forms, ultraviolet light is passed through the cabin to eradicate any germs left behind. A self cleansing car – sign me up.
The majority of concept cars seen today appear to be increasingly confusing, used as a platform for the design team’s professional inputs and little else. Their ideas neutered by customer clinics, distilled by the production process, lambasted by journalists maybe more concerned over lunch. How galling the feeling of creating a potential future only to see it wither on the vine. Hyundai along with cross pollinators, Kia are currently enjoying and employing unbridled opportunities in attempts to wow future mobility users. The Koreans may not have all the answers to how the car will be used but take just a peek at their current line ups. The Japanese hegemony will take some toppling but at this rate, momentum lies with those below the 38th parallel.
The Seven cannot possibly be to everyone’s taste. No matter what the hue, how incongruous would it look outside a campanile, lest it navigate through the labyrinth streets? Admittedly, so would any other dimensionally challenged behemoth. Opposing arguments as to how correct this would look perhaps charging on ones drive or laconically delivering you and friends to the home game. And maybe delivering them home in perfect safety after several celebratory drinks – there are certain appeals in to not having to drive.
Markedly aimed for the States, Europe and their own heimat, Hyundai’s Seven snubs longer established brands who have cast themselves into the stylistic midden. Wisdoms of healing and mystical powers probably don’t reside within the Seven. The Seoul outpourings though are fresh, confident and however green fingered (in the metal), emanate purple.
Whatever will sprout next?
A twenty minute podcast with Hyundai designer Simon Loasby regarding the Seven: