Korean designs promise a shake-up
TWO cars from Korea promise to shake up designs in the industry. The first is the next Kia Optima. Following its debut at the New York International Auto Show in 2010, the Kia Optima became a catalyst for the brand’s tremendous growth and has been the company’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for three years running. Now, five years later, Kia will return to New York on Wednesday, April 1, for the world debut of a passionately designed and obsessively crafted all-new version of its popular midsize sedan.
Meanwhile the Hyundai Motor Company has received the Jury Prize at the JEC Innovation Awards 2015 for its innovative carbon-fibre frame design used in the Intrado concept car. The prize was presented during the JEC Europe 2015 conference in Paris this month.
The JEC Innovation Awards recognise technical excellence, market potential and originality, rewarding the most innovative composite solutions worldwide. The organisation selected the lightweight and futuristic frame of Intrado, which complements the concept’s advanced fuel-cell powertrain and design, representing the progressive spirit of Hyundai Motor Company.
At the core of Intrado’s pioneering frame are carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) sections, which are based on carbon-fibre tubes.
This approach allows for more effective and flexible use of the carbon material, avoiding offcuts and long energyconsuming preparation processes. The unique process is a major forward step when compared to conventional steel and other CFRP chassis architectures.
The minimalistic, self-supporting skeleton-like frame structure is highly stable and extremely light weight, saving 70% weight compared to a conventional chassis and around 30% on the overall vehicle weight, without compromising safety attributes.
One essential element of the frame’s overall rigidity is the floating centre console beam.
This beam provides Intrado with its unique strength and supports the frame’s integration with the fuel cell powertrain components.
The next Kia Optima will be shown in New York on April 1.
The Hyundai Intrado has won its first design awards.