We're not sure what marketing genius came up with the moniker for Hyundai's new ix-onic crossover concept, but it's something of a shame because the labored name sounds more like an air purifier than the attractive vehicle it's atttached to. Questionable marketing decisions aside, the ix-onic, which previews the next Tucson crossover, is a winner. Aesthetically, it has some mildly derivative elements (the face has a certain Mazda quality about it), but it's a good-looking vehicle that comes off bigger and more muscular than its 173-inch length suggests. In other words, it's got presence.
The exterior also has some innovative touches, including headlamps with cool – if slightly contrived – moving internal elements (check out the video after the jump), and as well a coral-like asymmetrical grille mesh and very strong upswept greenhouse that shows off a clean, less hard-edged interior. That said, we could do without the heavy-handed chrome wheels that look like they were cribbed from the guys over at West Coast Customs.
Interestingly, with the ix-onic, Hyundai designers are now going on record saying they are working toward defining a "hexagonal" front graphic as the company's new universal corporate face (check out the video). How the latter proclamation fits in with new offerings like the Genesis Sedan and Coupe or the Equus is something of an open question (perhaps this is just on designs for the European market), but as aesthetic signatures go, we can see this idea working to Hyundai's advantage, as the company's offerings currently don't really have a familial design element to tie them together.
The ix-onic – pronounced "ik-sonnik" – makes use of Hyundai's brand-new 1.6-liter GDi turbo four-cylinder, which routes its 168 horsepower through a six-speed double-clutch transmission (a bit of tech we don't recall seeing from Hyundai before), and the drivetrain has stop-start tech to help it yield a commendably low 149 grams-per-kilometer of C02. With Hyundai's previous admission that the company will move toward all direct-injection engines, we can expect to see this powerplant coming to America in the next Tucson, although perhaps not immediately. Click on the high-res galleries below and make sure to check out Hyundai's video and press release after the jump.