The prestigious Australian International Design Awards was held last Friday night at Sydney’s Wharf 8, and Hyundai, Audi, and Nissan, were the big winners in the automotive category
You may have seen Hyundai’s ‘Driven by Obsession’ TV campaign for the i45 sedan, it’s the one where you see thousands of water droplets forming 3D shapes like medieval swords, an axe, hammer, and even a circular saw falling onto a silver i45.
It’s positively spectacular, while at the same time beautiful, if not, enchanting, more than effectively highlights Hyundai’s new design direction – ‘fluidic sculpture’.
The extensive selection panel of design gurus from across the globe was clearly impressed by what Hyundai has achieved from an overall perspective with the i45 and hence their win in the category.
Designed in-house at Hyundai’s California Design Studio, the most compelling design feature of the car is the ‘orchid stroke’ along both sides, ‘which radiates dynamic strength’ and is central to the ‘fluidic’ design language.
The panel also looked at things like the car’s ergonomics and made mention of four-spoke steering wheel and the associated grip that feature offered, as well as the positioning of the remote audio and cruise control buttons on said wheel.
There was even mention of the ‘organ’ shape of the accelerator pedal, which was seen to promote pedal feel and reduce potential foot slippage.
Legroom for both front and rear seat passengers was also considered ‘excellent’.
As fas as the powertrain and chassis go, the ‘Gasoline Direct injection engine received a strong mention for its efficiency and reduced emissions, while Hyundai’s proprietary six-speed transmission was applauded for its lightweight and compact design.
More praise by the panel for the i45’s extensive safety features package of six airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), HAC (Hill Start Assist), BA (Brake Assist), Front Active Headrests, LED taillights and Reverse sensors.
Highlighting convenience features such as the Panorama sunroof, which covers the entire roof surface (although its heavier than the standard metal roof) and contributes heavily to the overall styling of the car, as well as climate control air conditioning with cluster ioniser for retarding fungus growth and standard rear air conditioning ducts.
Also mentioned were the full iPod connectivity, push button engine start with proximity key and the i45’s clever upward folding side-mirrors.
Hyundai’s Director of Marketing, Oliver Mann was pleased to accept the award on behalf of the company.
Audi won a Design Award for their A5 Sportback, while Nissan picked up an award for their prestige mid-size SUV, the Murano.