Mid-sized Hyundai the apple of his i
THERE is a lot of America in the exterior design of the new Hyundai i45. It’s fussy, with plenty of chrome and some complicated panel creases that test the build standard of the South Korean manufacturer.
However, Hyundai North American design manager Andre Hudson is proud that a lot of his out-there styling cues have carried through to production.
‘‘Our speed of development at Hyundai means the original idea stays very true and doesn’t get watered down,’’ he says.
He points to two main features that made it from the drawing board to the showroom — the chrome strip down three-quarters of the side and the C-pillar ‘‘porthole’’ window. The C-pillar window is one of his favourites. ‘‘I’m so proud that the glass carried through to production despite the extra cost. It gives more sense of space.’’
Hudson spent seven years with GM in Detroit and the UK before moving to Hyundai five years ago.
‘‘That has given me a broader approach to designing cars and understanding the European market,’’ he says.
‘‘I was 30 when I started on this project and designing a medium-sized family vehicle is not something you dream of doing at that age. However, I can now see it being a family car for me for the future.’’
The i45 continues Hyundai’s theme of ‘‘fluidic sculpture’’.
‘‘It’s time to make an emotional connection with our customers and pull at people’s hearts a little,’’ he says, referring to the car’s ‘‘natural organic quality’’ and ‘‘athletic and taut’’ lines.
‘‘There is a movement of line on this vehicle. It looks as if it’s in motion when it’s standing still,’’ he says.
He describes the front grille as looking like a bird of prey.
Colours include metallic red and ‘‘espresso brown’’, which looks almost black except in direct sunlight.
— Mark Hinchliffe