The all-new Hyundai Elantra made its world debut back in March through its special event in California, United States. This is designed for the next generation who are sensible yet disruptive and always questioning traditions. Dropped height, a geometric-pattern grille that looks like a cut gem, and bold character lines attracted audiences.
Rather than traditional sketches, the all-new Hyundai Elantra was created through advanced digital design technology. Then, how would college students studying automotive design see the all-new Hyundai Elantra?
Three students studying Automotive and Transportation Design at the Kookmin University College of Design asked questions after taking a closer look at the all-new Hyundai Elantra, and the designer who created the model answered them thoroughly.
Q. Tell us more about the design theme called the ‘Parametric Dynamics’
In the latest AutoCAD version, the parametric modeling method is developed, which is a process based on algorithmic thinking that enables the expression of parameters and rules that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response. The all-new Hyundai Elantra was created through this process, not through conventional clay modeling. “Parametric dynamics” is the phrase Hyundai designers use to describe the dramatic look of the all-new Hyundai Elantra.
Q. The wide, cascading grille creating an integrated architecture with the headlamp looks quite interesting.
It is more remarkable that the All-new Elantra is gaining popularity as a compact sedan, as the market worldwide has long been dominated by SUVs. To be specific, thanks to the 3rd-generation platform, parametric-jewel-pattern grille with turn-signal integration would be one of the front highlights. Wide, cascading grille creates an integrated architecture with the headlamp. Also, bold fascia shape creates a strong front graphic and well-refined gem-like shapes create harmony with the bodyside surfaces. The bigger, bolder front emblem surely represents all this.
Q. There are a lot of triangles all around the body, which reminds me of its old funny nickname - ‘Triangula’. Why did you use these elements again?
There are some major differences between a facelift model and a full-change model. The former is more like a trailer of a movie that is about to be released. For the latter which is considered to be the movie itself, automakers spend much more time and energy on it. The all-new Elantra, too, has been ready for a long time.
Under the theme 'Panametric Dynamics', the new look is all about triangles. And with more detailed design elements, we made it look like a cut gemstone. We were confident about the design, so we thought that the old nickname would be even sound good.
Q. Tell us about the rear highlights.
Unlike conventional 3-box design, a wide and horizontal line extends across the center of the trunk, stretching to the edges of the all-new Elantra. The rear is full of delicate parametric shapes. These well-refined gem-like shapes create harmony with the bodyside surfaces. The only problem was that we could not make such a design with hard steel. So, we used plastic for the surface and added steel inside for safety.
Here is one more thing that is unique. High-tech ‘H-Tail Lamp’ creates a Hyundai flying H logo-like shape. The lamp shining at night will be bright enough.
Q. Is there any other unique design element left?
We also used triangles when we made the lettering on the center of a trunk lid. Just like that, there are so many details all over the car. It might be even fun to count the number of such triangles on the whole body.
Q. The driver-oriented layout makes the car look like a sports car. Why did you use it for this regular sedan?
C-segment sedans, like the all-new Elantra, are all about sportiness. We tried to focus on that since we needed to stand out in the current market, which has been dominated by SUVs these days. The immersive cocoon interior layout envelops the driver like an airplane cockpit. Actually, the cockpit structure has been trending back in the 90s. This style made the drivers feel as if they were sitting in an aircraft, being a pilot. Low, wide structures go from the door all the way to the center console. The low, wide structure also provides ample interior room.
For this effect, we made a higher center console(96 mm higher than that of its predecessor) to complete the driver-oriented layout. Also, we added the unique cornering grab handle for the passenger.
Q. The cabin looks bigger than its predecessor. What are the design elements that helped?
The first example would be the dashboard. Unlike the previous dashboard of the predecessor, a large interface consisting of two harmoniously connected displays enhances the futuristic feeling of the car. The angled touchscreen is easy for the driver to see and control. The interior gives the driver access to the latest technology and the confidence to use it.
The second is sporty, low-placed inside handles, unlike those of conventional sedans. With the dashboard widened by 40 mm, the cabin feels much roomier. Slim high-tech vents across the dashboard would highlight the effect, too.
Q. How did you create these shades? Any stories behind them?
After years of researching, we figured out that the all-new Elantra attracts a wide variety of consumers. Then we tried to find what this wide variety of consumers would all want. The answer was mother nature. We all love to be in a cozy and comfortable place as if we are relaxing in nature. This is why we created the paint colors - Amazon Gray and Lava Orange - for the exterior. And for those who take 'Slow Life' as the slogan for their lifestyles, we made gray shades for modern, peaceful vibes that would go well with the melange in the cabin.
Q. Which color would make the all-new Elantra look dashing?
For the all-new Elantra that looks like a cut gemstone, Intense Blue would be a great choice. Lava Orange and Amazon Gray would also be a good idea, though. Speaking of Intense Blue shade, we added a high-chroma blue pearl for a more flashy look. And for Lava Orange, we used color-shift pigments to add red, orange, and yellow shades depending on the light reflection. Amazon Gray color contains aluminum pigments, royal blue pearl pigments, and turquoise green pearl pigments for a deep, elegant look.
Q. Tell us about the materials or finishing processes that you used for better emotional quality.
Elantra’s sleek design, combined with Hyundai’s expertise in interior packaging, has produced an interior that delivers outstanding comfort, functionality, and practicality. We used dark chrome for the radiator grille and the front bumper for more elegant looks. For the interior, we used liquid-silver trim for metallic looks. Quilting, which is rare in C-segment sedans, and stitches on the door trim would also help.
Q. What made you use the asymmetric dual colors for the interior?
Asymmetric dual colors of the interior - which makes the driver's seat and the passenger seat look totally different - was not a safe choice. But we did try it anyway, for the sake of driver-oriented layout. The driver in the cabin gets to feel independent all the way along.
So far, black has been a safe choice for the interior color. The all-new Elantra, however, comes with another shade, Modern Gray. This would be our nudge - which is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives - that would make our customers choose Modern Gray.
Q. What would be your interior personal choice for your Elantra?
I would choose Modern Gray color for the interior. The asymmetric dual colors would emphasize driver-oriented layout. The driver in the cabin will feel independent all the way along.
Here’s what wannabe designers say about the all-new Elantra.
Elantra has been one of the old models that were very familiar. The all-new Elantra, however, was very innovative. The first impression was huge. At first, I thought the vehicle looks a bit too much from the picture, but after I actually saw it, I loved the way it looks on the road and how those triangles represent the body. The details kept growing in me.
The striking looks of the all-new Elantra will attract young people, I think. The bold character line was unprecedented, boosting its presence on the roads. The vehicle looks like a giant triangular puzzle. It felt really roomy inside, and I loved the interior elements that are truly driver-oriented.
The first thing I thought was that the all-new Elantra has been through major changes. The 'Wide & Low' image was highlighted by so many design elements, including sophisticated lines. The H-Tail lamp was unconventional.
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