Hyundai apparently wants to play in every segment, and its Intrado crossover concept, designed in Europe and debuting at the Geneva motor show, seems to suggest a forthcoming subcompact crossover. This is the same “style first, practicality second” segment currently served by the popular Nissan Juke, the refreshed version of which is also debuting in Geneva. Volkswagen, for its part, is also previewing a little crossover funster called the T-ROC at the vaunted Swiss show.We first ran coverage of the Intrado about a week ago after photos leaked onto the internet, and with Hyundai’s release of some official information and images, we can confirm much of what we stated in our previous story—and fill in a few holes.
Other than some styling cues that vaguely recall the new-for Genesis luxury sedan, the funky Intrado—so named after the underside of a wing, which helps create lift—looks like no current Hyundai product. Its three-door body mimics the proportions of the Porsche Macan, and its taillamps look suspiciously inspired by the aforementioned Juke’s. Despite the car’s clunky-looking body sides and high stance, Hyundai claims the Intrado’s shape is highly aero-honed, hence, its lack of mirrors and superfluous ornamentation. And here we thought it was just good taste.
The Beaufort Orange and carbon-fiber-finished interior features the expected screen-based gauges and secondary-control interface, as well as a steering wheel that looks just plain weird, even by concept-car standards. Still, it reminds us of the interior of Kia’s cool GT4 Stinger concept in its minimalism. Cool touches include toggle switches on the center console, “see through” air vents, and exposed seat frames.
The Intrado is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain with a potent 36-kWh lithium-ion battery. Total range is roughly 370 miles on a single fill-up, about 70 more than from Hyundai’s upcoming Tucson fuel cell. Hyundai claims to have developed new manufacturing and joining processes for the Intrado’s lightweight carbon-fiber structure that has “the potential to change the way cars are made.” The automaker goes on to say that the Intrado’s strong bones could accommodate body panels made from “any material,” giving designers more flexibility. The Hyundai folks claim the Intrado has responsive and agile driving dynamics, thanks to its low weight and efficient powertrain. We’ll have to take their word for it.
The Intrado is the first Hyundai to be designed under the watchful eye of Hyundai’s new design overlord, Peter Schreyer. He became president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Groupabout a year ago after stewarding the wildly successful design renaissance at sister brand Kia. So take inventory of the Intrado’s many interesting design elements—such as the bladelike front fenders, lower wheel flares, metal rocker panels, Audi A5–like window line, wraparound rear glass—as you might see some or all of them on future production Hyundais from sports cars to luxury sedans to large crossovers.We expect that, if produced, the Intrado would slot in below the Tucson in the Hyundai crossover hierarchy. And if it ends up half as good-looking as the concept, Hyundai could be the next brand to turn heads with its vehicles’ styling
HYUNDAI INTRADO CROSSOVER CONCEPT DESIGNED IN EUROPE