Let's hope all of Hyundai's electric vehicles follow this Prophecy in the coming years.
Hyundai was planning to debut this stunner, the Prophecy concept, at the canceled 2020 Geneva Auto Show. Looking a bit like a cross between a Porsche 911 and an Oldsmobile Aurora—with a little first-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS-class thrown in for seasoning—the Prophecy gives us an idea of what Hyundai’s battery-powered cars of the future might look like.
Hyundai calls the Prophecy a follow-on to the Pony-inspired 45 Concept shown at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, though that comparison has us scratching our heads a bit. The 45 was all angles while the Prophecy’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design theme is all curves, interrupted only by a rather nifty transparent acrylic spoiler. We like what we see: It is often said that good automotive designs need no jewelry to adorn them, and the Hyundai Prophecy proves that. This concept is pure flowing form and it looks good, even if the themes feel somewhat familiar.
The Prophecy embraces the physical characteristics of an electric car, with a long wheelbase to accommodate a large battery pack and an obvious emphasis on aerodynamics. A full-width opening in the lower part of the front fascia to provide airflow to the batteries, but Hyundai has done away with the massive grille seen on Hyundai’s latest production cars, including the Sonata and Palisade. That’s a shame, as we were just getting to like that look—but clearly neither can live while the other survives. One of the few adornments to the Prophecy’s smooth shape is the very cool pixelated light design, which Hyundai says will be coming to future production Hyundais. Very cool.
Inside, the Prophecy has the expected genuflections to our autonomous future. Hyundai has replaced the steering wheel with joysticks located in the center console and door panel, and the minimalist dashboard folds away to open up sightlines when the car is in full-autonomous mode. The pixelated light theme is repeated on the door panels, part of an ambient lighting system that pulses with soothing colors. Seatbacks done up in tartan make us wonder if operating it with the joysticks feels like driving a Volkswagen GTI in a video game.
We don’t expect a production vehicle based on the Prophecy; this concept is, as the name so accurately describes, a glimpse of styling cues to come. South Korean companies struggled with design for many years, and we’re pleased to see such a lovely organic shape, even if it is a bit derivative. We look forward to seeing bits and pieces of the Prophecy come true on future models. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in seeing some well-dressed European Hyundai employees discussing everything Prophecy, watch the video below.