Hyundai doesn't miss a detail in their lengthy announcement of the new ix-onic concept compact SUV that the company is bringing to Geneva. At first glance, figuring out how to pronounce the name was unclear - is it icks-onic? Eye-x-onic? - but then eight letters and a dash come to the rescue: "ik-sonnik."
With a body that comes in at 173 inches long, 73 inches wide and 65 inches tall, the ix-onic isn't that much bigger than C-segment hatchbacks like the VW Golf. Still, Hyundai says the ix-onic has "an imposing stance and road presence." What's might be more impressive to the green-minded is that the ix-onic features stop-start ( known as ISG, or Idle Stop & Go, in Hyundai's language) and has the first installation of Hyundai's new 1.6-litre GDi turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that emits 149 g/km of CO2. We'll see more when we get to Geneva in a few weeks.
STYLE, TECHNOLOGY AND EFFICIENCY – THE HYUNDAI ix-onic CONCEPT
* Hyundai concept reveals dynamic new look for compact SUVs
* First sight of new 1.6-litre GDi turbo four-cylinder petrol engine
* Eco-friendly engine emits just 149 g/km of CO2
A sensational concept car will be the highlight of Hyundai's stand at the Geneva motor show. The ix-onic, which makes its world premiere at the 79th Salon International de L'Automobile on March 3rd, introduces a whole new look for Hyundai's compact SUVs and is packed with technology which make it more fuel efficient than some superminis.
Designed to assertive but not aggressive, the ix-onic (pronounced "ik-sonnik") combines dynamic styling with an environmentally-friendly power train and thoughtful everyday utility. It creates a vehicle that will change the way consumers think about compact crossover vehicles.
Hyundai's design team in Rüsselsheim, Germany created the concept with European consumers in mind. With an overall length of 4,400mm, the 1,850mm-wide and 1,650mm-high ix-onic has an imposing stance and road presence but takes up little more space on the road than a C-segment hatchback.
Key attributes of Hyundai's 'dynamic sculpture' design philosophy are the athleticism and sophistication that ix-onic demonstrates through its dynamic and flowing lines. These are emphasised by specially developed, high-contrast exterior paint. Employing an advanced-effect pigment, the innovative paint gives the car's skin a brilliant shine.
The hexagonal grille is a further evolution of the style introduced on the 2006 Genus concept car and developed for its appearance on the i-mode concept in 2008. The headlamps feature innovative LED daytime running lights which move down electrically whenever the 'dipped beam' is switched on.
The profile of ix-onic features a dynamic glass line and a sports car-like theme with a muscular, double-zigzag treatment for the wheel arches that wrap around the 21-inch polished alloy wheels. Unusually, the concave sills have a wedge-shaped profile which extends rearwards and wraps around into the rear bumper. The sills and bumper are finished in a contrasting colour, with an aluminium garnish that echoes the trim in the door handles to enhance the perception of premium quality.
With high-mounted tail lamps, multi-surfaced glass and a sculpted bumper, the rear of ix-onic also incorporates 'dynamic design' elements. The rear lamp clusters feature a grille mesh inspired by nature, while the rear bumper also neatly incorporates the dual, polished aluminium exhaust tailpipes.
The rear window has been designed and produced by Hyundai in close cooperation with the QarmaQ-partner SABIC Innovative Plastics. Using Lexan high-performance plastics instead of conventional glass enabled the designers to give the rear window a much more three-dimensional shape. On each side of the rear window two vertical spoilers are integrated to reduce aerodynamic drag. The upper part of the window features a strongly concave shape to make it possible to integrate the roof spoiler in the rear window.
Inside, the five-seater ix-onic offers a commanding view of the road and evokes an adventurous ambience that is also laid-back and relaxing.
An X-shaped visual theme is repeated across numerous areas of the cabin, with embossed leather to accentuate key areas while light-alloy magnesium accents provide flashes of visual brilliance. The sleek shapes of the interior are outlined with 'ice blue' seams that replicate the colour of both the ribbed ice blue floor carpet, which contains a high percentage of natural cashmere wool, and the exterior.
Shapely seats feature centre panels trimmed in breathable fabric with attractive and functional cushion side bolsters, plus additional lateral support for occupants' shoulders – all trimmed in contrasting magnesium grey.
Mounted much higher than usual in the doors, the audio speakers present occupants with a true and highly detailed, top-quality sound reproduction. The interior rear-view mirror has a 'blind spot' warning light that alerts the driver to other road users in close proximity.
Beneath its sensational exterior, the ix-onic's power train is equipped with a 170PS, 1.6-litre GDi turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine, with ISG (Idle Stop & Go) technology and a double-clutch six-speed transmission. Power is transferred to the road by an intelligent four-wheel drive system fine-tuned to deliver outstanding on-road driving dynamics, together with significant off-road ability. The next-generation, eco-friendly engine emits just 149 g/km of CO2, an impressive figure for an SUV and comparable with conventional hatchbacks and superminis.