Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik told Automobile magazine the car maker's next generation of new vehicles will take an evolutionary step forward from the existing 'fluidic sculpture' design philosophy with the creation of a more understated and mature model range.
“I think if you look at the progression from Sonata (i45) (pictured top) to Elantra to Azera (Granduer), you can see the design mature over time,” Krafcik told Automobile.
“You’ll see even more maturity with the new Santa Fe, and future cars will feature something we’re internally calling ‘fluidic precision’, where the forms might be a little less extroverted. You’ll see that with the next Sonata, the design of which has just been frozen.”
Hyundai’s current fluidic sculpture design theme first appeared on the Hyundai ix-onic concept (pictured above) at the 2009 Geneva motor show and made its showroom debut later that year in the form of the ix35 compact SUV. The theme has since been applied across the range, with the upcoming Santa Fe to become the last mainstream model to adopt fluidic sculpture in Australia in the final quarter of this year.
While putting Hyundai on the map from a design perspective, not everyone has been a fan of the brand’s fluidic sculpture design language.
Ford group vice president, design, and chief creative officer, J Mays, earlier this year said Ford’s next generation of vehicles would have a much more premium look than Hyundai’s.
“I’m not criticising Hyundai,” Mays said, “it’s just a different philosophy, but their [fluidic sculpture design language] is really all over the map, it’s really loud and fussy. I don’t think that’s premium and I really don’t think it’s sustainable.”
The design has worked for Hyundai Australia, however, with 45,306 new Hyundais sold in Australia in the first half of this year, compared with 43,430 Fords.