Hyundai's goal to become a more luxurious and upmarket car manufacturer is evident by its Ix-Metro 2+2 hybrid concept car, currently displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Described as a compact utility vehicle (CUV), the concept is of B-segment size and is set to influence the styling and layout of a new baby SUV to be launched within the next two years.
The next B-segment baby SUV is said to be a rival to the Nissan Qazana. European design chief, Thomas Buerkle, said that finishing touches on the out of this world concept were undertaken immediately ahead of its launch. He says the car takes the company fluidic sculpture design language further and it also features an evolution of Hyundai's new hexagonal front grille.
An aggressively styled grille with incorporated fog lights feature at the front, as does LED lights similar in a style similar to those seen on Geneva ix-onic concept.. Changes include a raised ride height and driving position, 20-inch alloy wheels and heavily sculpted body panels. While conventional doors feature at the front, there is no B pillar.
The rear doors are not conventionally hinged and instead slide out backwards to allow for easier access and make for a roomier glasshouse with improved visibility. The interior is obviously inspired with the idea of a protective capsule. Featured is a wraparound effect connecting the dashboard, center console, door panels and front seats.
If you're a fan of sci-fi films, you're going to love the interior with its ice-blue illumination and white semi-transparent silicon-like material, which covers the dashboard. To allow a more spacious rear loading area, digital side view cameras are fitted and the rear seats are able to fold flat. Powering the car is a three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 5kw electric motor and 12V battery.
The hybrid powertrain produces 123bhp at 6000rpm and 116lb ft of torque between 1750 and 4500rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed dual clutch box, technology that should start appearing on future Hyundai models.. Hyundai Europe's vice president Allan Rushforth confirmed the firm would be launching nine new models in 13 months starting from October 2010.