Hyundai call it, the ix-Metro and Rogelio J. Flores, Chief designer on the project, would have you believe that this is something …out of this world” and I reckon he’s spot on.
Inspired by NASA and all kinds of spacecraft, the ix-Metro is an entry- level hybrid CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), which gives us a good look at the future of the sub-B segment.
While entry appears to be via a suicide door configuration, that design was dropped in favour of a sliding rear door for easy entry and egress to the rear passenger zone.
The dashboard is straight out of an Aliens movie, using a white semi-transparent silicon-like material, which incorporates an organic electro luminescence display for route guidance and other important functions.
You’ll also find ultra slim digital side view cameras, which are designed to minimise wind noise without compromising the view range.
The central instrument cluster is straight out of modern day passenger jet with a 3-D digital display which means minimal information and less clutter at any one time, allowing the driver to focus more on the road ahead.
It’s functional too with the rear seats fold flat to extend the cargo area, and ice blue lighting dividing various compartments within that space.
The ix-Metro has a high ground clearance and high position seating for improved visibility, while six airbags and the usual electronic safety systems such as ESP and ABS are on board.
Powered by a 3-cylinder 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine with direct injection paired with a 5kW-integrated starter/alternator, performance is said to be zippy, when mated to a six-speed Dual Clutch transmission.
But here’s where it gets really interesting from the green perspective, with CO2 emissions of a staggeringly low 80g/km via its hybridised powertrain, which develops 92kW of power.
While that may not set any land speed records, the car only weighs 950 kilograms, which is more than adequate, if city bound.
Interestingly, the ix-Metro runs on wider tyres than I would have expected, 245/40R low profile series.
Although, futuristic in many respects, you get the feeling when viewing the car in the metal, that Hyundai could actually go into production with a car like this sooner than one might expect.