Hyundai's press conference at this year's Geneva show was a double-header, debuting the production i30 hatchback and showcasing the QarmaQ concept (don't blame us, we didn't come up with the name). As if the baseball reference wasn't palpable enough, the Korean carmaker inexplicably brought out a pair of mascots worthy of any major league dugout. Seriously, these ladies just always happened to be in our shot, what were we to do?
We brought you a preview sketch and initial details of the QarmaQ, codenamed HED-4, a few days ago, and as you can see from our pictures on the show floor, the crossover concept turned out to look just as radical in the flesh. The QarmaQ is a joint initiative with GE Plastics, and features "performance composites and thermoplastics" where conventional cars use stuff like metal and glass and whatnot, all of which you can read about in the GE press release after the jump, if you're so inclined.
The coupe-like crossover concept, tipped to preview the styling of the next Hyundai Tucson, features a large glass plastic greenhouse that's all the rage with contemporary concept cars. The side glass plastic has an innovative "C" shape, which Hyundai describes as giving the occupants helicopter-like visibility. Not sure how practical that would be on a production automobile, but it makes for an intriguing concept feature on an intriguing concept vehicle.
Advanced Technology Inside and Out: Hyundai ATDV Features Innovative Applications Utilizing GE Materials
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - March 6, 2007 - At the Geneva Motor Show here, GE Plastics' high-performance composites and thermoplastics is taking the spotlight with close to 30 diverse applications for Hyundai's advanced technology development vehicle (ATDV), the QarmaQ. The crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is a joint project of GE Plastics and Hyundai to demonstrate the design freedom and practicality of using plastics in components traditionally manufactured from metal, glass, and thermosets. It features GE's advanced technologies in five key areas: the Elastic Front*, exterior, interior, lighting systems, and underhood.
Among the benefits of the GE Plastics materials are a weight reduction of up to 60 kg that can offer an average fuel savings of up to 80 litres/year; improved pedestrian safety; and the ability to create complex, 3D shapes.
The QarmaQ showcases the significant environmental advantages of using plastics. For example, Xenoy iQ* and Valox iQ* resins composites – both GE ecomagination* products – are derived from 85 percent post-consumer plastic waste. The materials are used on key parts of the vehicle and helped divert close to 900 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles from potential landfill. Paint-free solutions used for the vehicle's interior help to reduce volatile emissions given off during traditional painting operations. GE's Flexible Noryl* resin enables thinner wire and cable coatings that help reduce vehicle weight and allow more electronics in the same space.
GE Plastics materials are also used in the following applications:
A unique pedestrian safety development that requires no airbags or mechanical pop-up hydraulics; it uses the inherent properties of GE's materials.
Energy-absorbing structures and the natural properties of GE's plastics are seamlessly integrated into the futuristic styling of QarmaQ. Different impact zones on the car correlate to the various areas of a pedestrian's body likely to be contacted in a collision.
- Lower leg protection
• Global Energy Absorber: Using Xenoy iQ resin, GE Plastics has developed a single design for energy-absorbing countermeasures that meet FMVSS/CMVSS, and European and Japanese Pedestrian Phase I and II requirements. The part combines two functions: it is soft and supple enough to absorb the energy when the lower leg of a pedestrian is contacted, but stiff enough in a situation where the driver may drive into a barrier or object at low speed.
- Upper leg protection
• Bumper: Due to the higher hood of a CUV, absorbing energy in the area around the junction of the top of the grill/bumper and front of the hood is critical, as it potentially will impact the hip area of a pedestrian. The physical properties (modulus and ductility) of the new Xenoy iQ* HMD resins make it possible without extra complicated structures or mechanical solutions.
• Hood: Using developmental composite HPPC material technology – GE's Xenoy iQ resins - the lightweight hood provides energy absorption via design and material properties. The HPPC thermoplastic sandwich composite material offers a solution close to half the weight of traditional materials, which can help reduce injuries in a crash.
- Head impact zone
• Front fenders: Large injection-molded, vertical wraparound fenders using GE's Xenoy iQ HMD resins make their debut on the QarmaQ in Geneva. Because the top area of the fenders also form part of the horizontal hood surface at the front of the car, they must be capable of absorbing impact resulting from a collision with a pedestrian's head. Equally important, HMD technology enables large automotive molding to be implemented while meeting tough OEM requirements for dimensional tolerance on gaps and flushness. Due to its unique nanotechnology fibrillation, HMD Xenoy resins can also help improve dimensional stiffness of the large body panel components.
• Hood: The horizontal surface of the HPPC hood made with Xenoy iQ resins contribute important energy management aspects to this critical zone for head impact. In addition to its crash management properties, HPPC is unique because it offers a tough, durable, but flexible and lightweight alternative to traditional metals.
Larger areas and wraparound designs take Lexan* high-tech transparent plastic resin glazing to a new level with noteworthy weight savings of up to 29 kgs on the QarmaQ.
• Movable side glazing: Giving customers an all-around open-air experience, Lexan side glazing uses the Exatec* 900 system that provides an abrasion-resistant and weatherable PECVD (plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition) glass-like layer on the surface of the molded Lexan* glazing. Using two-component molding, the inherent ability of Lexan to integrate seals and mechanical functions within the glazing component eliminates traditional unsightly seals and mechanical fastenings to produce a seamless flush window.
• Integrated panoramic sunroof /fractal antenna: The Lexan polycarbonate (PC) panoramic sunroof with UV-blocking technology is designed to be a complete module, providing everything from lighting to telemetry. Manufactured with a Fractal Antenna® Design from Exatec and FICOSA, together with GE's Lexan glazing, the system can be used as a telematic platform for multi-band antenna integration. Additional opportunities include using Exatec 900el electroluminescent interior light band for an improved interior ambiance.
• Doors: Delivering up to 50 percent weight reduction compared to metals, doors made with GE's HMD Xenoy iQ resins are dramatically sculpted to accommodate all passenger sizes while maintaining design, strength, and practicality.
• Integrated lift gate: Designed as a working sub-assembly, the rear lighting, wiring, sensors, and all the necessary electronics are integrated into the lift gate. The dramatically shaped glazing demonstrated on the system is made from Lexan PC featuring the same Exatec900* coating technology demonstrated on the side windows. This lightweight component can meet the regulatory requirements for driver visibility as well as enable the use of a wiper and defroster technology from Exatec.
• Precision trunk glazing: GE's Lexan glazing offers signature surfaces and back vision for the driver without compromising performance and safety.
• Mirrors: Clear visibility in the mirrors (de-misting and defrosting) is monitored and controlled with the use of GE's sensing technology and a new thermoelectrically conductive plastic resin from GE Plastics called Statkon* resin.
• Displays and instrumentation: GE's Illuminex* optical display film uses a "coating-free" diffuser technology to meet demanding optical requirements in the liquid crystal display (LCD) back lighting industry.
• Doors: Fabric-covered upper door trim parts are back-molded with Cycoloy* CY8540 resin, which allows the fabric to be processed without being stretched and damaged.
• Instrument cluster, dashboard, and door trim: Beautiful 'Alpine white' Lexan Visualfx* special effects resin with a layer of crystal-clear Lexan resin molded over the top provides depth and super-high gloss.
• Integrated airbag door: Lexan EXL resin enabled an innovative design that seamlessly integrates the airbag door into the fabric-covered instrument panel for outstanding aesthetics and improved safety via fragment-free airbag deployment, even at -40 C.
• Pillar trims: Lexan EXL 1414H resin fulfills even cold impact demands, and is an excellent candidate for designs with airbags behind the pillar trim.
• Seat backs/center console: Designed in deep gloss 'Ceramic' white, new anti-static Geloy* XTW resin provides a high level of weatherability and UV resistance. Because the plastic is infused with pigment, the use of paint is reduced.
• Vents and switches: Lexan Visualfx special effects resin's light transmission properties are harnessed to transform the vents and switches in the interior into illuminated jewel-like details.
• Front lenses: Molding these parts with clear, high-heat Lexan XHT resins enabled a more compact package without compromising optical performance.
• Headlamps: Debuting on the QarmaQ, GE's Nightfx* resins are water-clear materials that glow in brilliant colours when exposed to certain wavelengths of light. Hyundai has created a unique illumination signature for its brand.
• Headlamp bezel: Direct-metallized Valox iQ resins enable beautiful, high-style designs that eliminate the need for costly and environmentally irresponsible lacquering.
• Headlamp reflectors: These components incorporate reflectors molded from GE's new direct-metallized Extem* resins, offering extreme heat tolerance. They also allow elimination of lacquering and are recyclable components.
• Connectors: Valox iQ resins offer significant reductions in post-consumer landfill, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions.
• Wire coating: GE's Flexible Noryl resins offer smaller bundle size and the ability to place more wire per pack. This could allow for more space for customer features, a critical advantage as today's vehicles continue to reflect consumers' preferences for more sophisticated, feature-heavy designs.
QarmaQ Project Partners
- GE Sensing
• IR sensor for cabin comfort: Provides accurate reading of cabin temperature by targeting and checking the temperature of the body. Features include high sensitivity and fast response time.
• NDIR CO2 sensor: Detects any CO2 leaks into the cabin interior; works with new environmental responsible (green) refrigerants.
• NOx sensor for emission control: Monitors the vehicle's exhaust to be sure it is running cleanly. Features highly accurate, robust emissions sensors to detect various nitrogen oxides.
• NPX sensor for remote tire pressure monitoring (RTPM): Monitors the air pressure of tires when automobiles are traveling and sets off an alarm when low air pressure or lack of air pressure occurs due to air leakage, helping to ensure safe driving.
- Momentive Performance Materials
• Silica tires: Silica tires made with NXT silane can improve QarmaQ's fuel economy by up to 5 percent and reduce CO2 emissions, while improving the tires' traction, handling, and wear life. NXT Z* silane and NXT LowV* silane can also reduce ethanol emissions from the tire.
• Seat inserts: Teal-coloured silicone elastomer seat inserts are positioned in complete harmony alongside conventional materials such as leather and nubuck. The surface treatment through LSR Top-Coat technology provides excellent leather-like haptic for the soft inserts. Other touch-sensitive applications, especially in the driver zone (steering wheel and gear shift lever, to mention a few), were built based on the same material technology featuring mechanical fixation.
• Tetra* Contour LED interior lighting: Hidden behind the upper roof trim, a white halo of light from Lumination's Tetra Contour LED lighting system lends an arctic glow to the panoramic sunroof. The material is up to 40 percent more energy efficient than neon.
• Lift gate: The carbon composite frame is bonded with the Lexan glazing. The strength and stiffness delivered by the composite frame allow creation of large lift gates while keeping weight approximately 50 percent less (10.4 kg) than a traditional construction.
• Fluorophore lighting engineering: These transparent fluorescent materials are highly coloured when un-illuminated, and glow when illuminated. Breathtaking headlamps feature optical engineering and photometric design.
For more information on Hyundai's QarmaQ, please visit http://www.hyundai-motor.com.
About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company has grown into the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group which was ranked as the world's sixth largest automaker in 2005 and includes over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Employing over 68,000 people worldwide, Hyundai Motor posted US$58.1 billion in sales in 2005 (on a consolidated basis). Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5000 dealerships and showrooms. As an Official Partner of UEFA Euro 2008TM, the 2010 FIFA World CupTM and all FIFA competitions until year 2014, Hyundai will act as a transport management provider on a global basis providing services and vehicles for all these events through its worldwide distribution network. Further information about Hyundai Motor Company and its products is available at http://www.hyundai-motor.com
About GE Plastics
GE Plastics (www.geplastics.com) is a global supplier of plastic resins widely used in automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, performance packaging, building & construction, telecommunications, and optical media applications. The company manufactures and compounds polycarbonate, ABS, SAN, ASA, PPE, PC/ABS, PBT and PEI resins, as well as the LNP* line of high-performance specialty compounds. GE Plastics, Specialty Film & Sheet manufactures high-performance Lexan* sheet and film products used in thousands of demanding applications worldwide. In addition, GE Plastics' dedicated Automotive organization is an experienced, world-wide competitor, offering leading plastics solutions for five key automotive segments: body panels and glazing; under the hood applications; component; structures and interiors; and lighting. As a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games, GE is the exclusive provider of a wide range of innovative products and services that are integral to a successful Games.