New York Auto Show: Hyundai Nuvis Concept

Article by Christian A., on March 29, 2009

Last week Hyundai teased us with their new prototype and due to the fact that New York Auto Show opened its gates the Nuvis Concept was revealed today.

We don't know exactly if the new concept is a coupe or SUV but we do know that this vehicle previews the upcoming crossover from Hyundai. The big surprise, according to the manufacturer is under the hood where the Nuvis features Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which uses breakthrough lithium polymer battery technology.

This new system mates the already fuel-efficient 2.4-liter Theta II engine to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 30kW (205 N-m) electric motor for maximum fuel economy.

Regarding the design, John Krsreski, Hyundai Design manager said that the concept represents a living machine constantly moving, that the driver and passengers could be part of we didn't understand what this means but what the heck, he is the person who must say something about this thing.

Exterior Design

The exterior of the Hyundai Nuvis Concept gives off a confident look with its hour-glass shape that surrounds the blue acrylic shield grille up to the headlamps. The headlamps have two glowing white rings which are then offset with the tail lights and their red rings. It is clear that the Nuvis is strong, tall, and offers protection for the occupants.

All of these are supported by the 22-inch wheels. The two body-side lines give off the effect of water flowing thus resulting in having the appearance of motion. The distinct elements of the exterior do not stop at its strong stance and dynamic angles as the Nuvis has a lot more to offer. Hyundai senior designer Andre Hudson shared that the protective roof is one of the best features of the Nuvis.

This is because the hidden pillars combined with the high-contrast glass make the roof seem as if it is floating and not part of the body. This particular effect first starts at its headlamps and moves through the taillights to give a strong and tall body-side and rear, Hudson continued. When opened, the gull-wing doors give a distinct view of its profile, front, and rear.

The same effect can be seen even when the same doors are closed. Giving the Nuvis a classy feel is the blue ambient lighting that is radiated across its body. The Nuvis Concept also has another design component in the form of a brushed aluminum highlight that goes through the whole length of this vehicle.

In standard models, this kind of trim is typically seen only around the windows. For this vehicle, the trim starts from the headlamps and then extends outwards and goes through its hood, passing its beltline then running across the top up to the rear spoiler.

Interior Design

Similar to the way the exterior has been designed, the interior is luxurious and spacious. The cabin has a blue acrylic center stack that flows like a river, keeping with the water flow concept of the exterior. Even the cascading floor has a blue ambient lighting which improves the cabin with its smooth technology flows even further as it surrounds the driver and its passengers.

Any information needed by the occupants is sent via the instrument panel streams all around the cockpit. The passengers for example can communicate with each other using the Methode Electronics TouchSense technology that connects the business-class seats. The infotainment system gets its data from the outside.

A passenger for example will be able to know the special for the day at a restaurant by merely driving past it. The sculptured seats are comfortable and customized with a graduated fabric weave and then given a silver-to-black sunburst finish. The fabric used in the seats is environment friendly and supplied by True Textiles, the leading industry provider when it comes to eco-friendly textile solutions.

As such, the fabric used in the Nuvis Concept is composed of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester, a material that is made from reclaimed soda bottles. Even the manufacturing process is considered as a sustainable one. In order to make this highly unique fabric with its 80-inch repeat, Hyundai entered into a partnership with True Creative.

This resulted in a fabric that is appealing to look at while being environment-friendly. The seatbelts that match the fabrics are supplied by Harveys Original Seatbeltbags, a company known for making handbags from seatbelts. For the Nuvis Concept, Harveys also created two matching handbags. The Nuvis has a lithium polymer battery pack that is stored in a high trunk floor on the rear.

Press Release

Hyundai Nuvis Concept

The Hyundai Nuvis Concept is the eleventh signature concept car to be designed at the company's California Design Center in Irvine, Calif. In addition to showcasing the brand's cutting-edge capabilities, Hyundai Nuvis Concept also hints at a possible design direction for a future-generation crossover, blending attributes of a tall urban car and a premium utility vehicle.

Consistent with Hyundai's pledge to lead all brands in U.S. fuel economy by 2015, Nuvis is powered by Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which uses breakthrough lithium polymer battery technology.


In developing the initial sketches, Hyundai designers considered the interplay of natural, fluid elements with more rigid surfaces and structures to create the illusion of constant motion. Specifically, designers studied the way water splits across and flows around the hull and sides of a boat, creating a wake, or the way wind shapes a snowdrift or flurries through trees. The living power of these elements is reflected in the Nuvis' design.

"Our goal was to create a living machine, constantly moving, that the driver and passengers could be part of," said John Krsteski, Hyundai Design manager. "There are no lines on or in this car that are standing still."

In addition to invoking the impression of irrepressible motion, the Hyundai design team took more practical matters into account as well. Hyundai Nuvis Concept is designed to accommodate the diverse interests of a modern, active couple. The Nuvis is meant to be comfortable starting its day at a desert retreat, arriving at the ski slopes in the afternoon and then cruising to a formal dinner that evening.

The design team sought to create a vehicle that would complement its environment, without making a negative impact. The versatility of the vehicle's design, combined with Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive technology, accomplishes exactly this.


The Hyundai Nuvis Concept has an assertive face demonstrated by the strong, hour-glass shape that frames the blue acrylic shield grille and aggressive headlamps, whose two glowing white rings are offset by a pair of red rings on the tail lights.

Perched on top of 22-inch wheels, Nuvis' proportions are tall, strong and protective. The two body-side lines set up a flowing water effect, giving the appearance of motion.

In addition to the dynamic angles and firm stance, the Hyundai Nuvis Concept boasts a host of unique exterior elements.

"One of the coolest attributes of Hyundai Nuvis Concept is that the protective roof appears to float on top of the body through the use of hidden pillars and high-contrast glass," said Andre Hudson, Hyundai senior designer. "This effect starts at the headlamps and is carried all the way through to the taillights producing a tall, strong body-side and rear."

Large, gull-wing doors, either opened or closed, create unique front, rear and profile views. Blue ambient lighting cast across the body adds to the overall upscale feel of the vehicle.

An additional design element featured on the Hyundai Nuvis Concept is a brushed aluminum accent that spans the entire length of the vehicle. Normally, this type of trim is only found around the windows. On the Hyundai Nuvis Concept, this trim extends out from the headlamps, juts up along the hood and through the beltline, across the top and into the rear spoiler.


In keeping with the exterior design scheme, the Nuvis' spacious and luxurious interior is dominated by a cool, blue acrylic center stack that ebbs and surges in the manner of a river. The cascading floor, with its blue ambient lighting, further enhances an environment in which seamless technology flows, enveloping both the driver and passengers.

A current of information coming from the instrument panel streams throughout the cockpit, as passengers are able to access each other via Methode Electronics TouchSense® technology that links all four business-class seats. The car's infotainment system is fed by channels from the outside - the occupants, for instance, can learn of a restaurant's specials that evening as they drive past it.

The sculptured, comfortable seats are custom woven with a graduated fabric that is finished in a silver-to-black sunburst. The ecologically friendly seating fabric is provided by True Textiles, the industry's leading provider of environmentally responsible textile solutions. The Hyundai Nuvis Concept fabric is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester - reclaimed soda bottles - and increasingly sustainable manufacturing processes. Hyundai collaborated with True Creative to produce this unique fabric with an 80-inch repeat, providing a fabric that is as attractive to the environment as it is to the viewer. The matching seatbelts are provided by Harveys Original Seatbeltbags, a well- known manufacturer of handbags made out of seatbelt. Harveys also developed two matching handbags for the Hyundai Nuvis Concept.

In the rear, a high trunk floor houses the Nuvis' lithium polymer battery pack.


Hyundai's all-new, homegrown Hybrid Blue Drive architecture helps define the Nuvis concept. Hyundai's proprietary parallel hybrid drive system mates the already-fuel efficient 2.4-liter Theta II engine to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 30kW (205 N-m) electric motor for maximum fuel economy.

Hybrid Blue Drive has an all-electric mode and a parallel drive mode, meaning that the wheels are turned by power coming directly from the gasoline engine, or the electric motor, or both together, as conditions demand. This parallel hybrid drive architecture will serve as the foundation for future Hyundai hybrid drive vehicles, starting with the next-generation Sonata in the United States.

To maximize fuel economy, all of the Theta II's major driveline and cooling system components have been optimized to reduce friction, while the crankcase has been filled with low friction oil.

Engine management software automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a halt, cutting emissions to zero. The engine automatically restarts when pressure is reapplied to the accelerator pedal due to the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG).

To further reduce fuel consumption, the Theta II's engine management software, which governs injection pressure, engine cycle timing and exhaust retreatment rates, has been revised. This control strategy assures that maximum efficiency is achieved during gentle acceleration, while greater power is immediately available during full acceleration.

During deceleration, regenerative braking also comes into play to help conserve energy.

To ensure that the engine runs at lower RPMs, the top three gear ratios in the transmission have been extended. Fuel economy is further optimized through the latest electric motor-assisted steering system which reduces power drain and low resistance tires.

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