In the summer of 2023, one Hyundai IONIQ 6 hung upside down in a spider web in the exhibition space of Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang. Above it was a cartoon Spider-Man jumping high, and below it lay a door leading to the multiverse, creating a spectacular view.
Around the same time, there was a hexagonal door connected to the parallel world ‘Spider-Verse’ in London’s Southbank, England. An IONIQ 6 wrapped in a spider’s web looked like it’s just been transported from another universe to this world. Inside the door was Spider-Man, jumping and shooting spider webs, and Spider-Gwen.
These are the main characters of 〈Spider-Man: New Universe〉, which was released in 2018 and received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, being praised for opening a new era of animation, and its sequel, 〈Spider-Man: Across the Universe〉.
At the same time, in the global animation advertisement by Hyundai Motor Company, Spider-Gwen’s usual self, Gwen Stacy, drives the IONIQ 6. The background is reminiscent of New York, USA, where Spider-Man lives. Following the driving sound of the electric vehicle active sound design applied to the IONIQ 6, attractive music flows, and Spider-Man, fascinated by this, chases Gwen’s IONIQ 6. The song used in the commercial is ‘Link Up’ by the famous American producer ‘Metro Boomin’, and it is also the official sound of 〈Spider-Man: Across the Universe〉.
This marketing campaign is part of a partnership Hyundai Motor signed with Sony Pictures in 2020. As if ‘Spider-Verse’, the multiverse world view of the latest Spider-Man series, communicates with our world through Hyundai Motor Company’s IONIQ 6, a ‘multi-dimensional’ global marketing campaign is underway that crosses reality and social media.
The multiverse, the multidimensional space in the movie, is more colorful and complex, and each world view is wonderful. Although the story of Miles Morales, a teenager who becomes the new Spider-Man in New York on Earth-1610, and Gwen, a Spider-Woman from another parallel world, are the main stories, it also features six universes, including Earth-50101’s Mumbatten (Mumbai/Manhattan hybrid), which has an Indian version of Spider-Man.
In particular, in Nueva York of Earth-928, there is a ‘Spider Society’ where Spider-Man from all dimensions of the Multiverse gather. It’s no exaggeration to say that you can see hundreds of Spider-Mans in a single film - some are not ‘men,’ though.
Nueva York is set in New York in 2099. The scenery of a future city unfolds, completely different from Miles and Gwen’s New York, with cars floating and roads soaring into the sky. And here, Hyundai Motor Company is the only brand that provides transportation in New York in 2099. Hyundai Motor designers and Sony Pictures animators collaborated from the beginning of development to realize the dynamic looks of future mobility.
In fact, unlike the commercials, the IONIQ 6 doesn’t appear in the movie, but it did feature a vehicle that looked very similar - the ‘Flying Prophecy’, a flying version of the concept car Prophecy on which the IONIQ 6 design was based. The wheelless car on the signboard seen beyond Spider-Man in the advertisement is the Flying Prophecy.
The ‘Electrified Streamliner’, a new streamlined design concept for the electrification era presented by Hyundai Motor Company through the IONIQ 6, is just right for this. Featuring a smooth streamlined design that minimizes wind resistance, this design maximizes efficiency while being emotional. IONIQ 6, which was created based on this, has achieved three awards - 2023 World Car of the Year by the World Car Awards 2023, World Electric Vehicle of the Year 2023, and the World Design Car of the Year 2023.
Flying Prophecy has evolved once again from Prophecy, which was the foundation of IONIQ 6, and has a streamlined silhouette that is as smooth as a pebble and has a sense of speed. Its body contrasts nicely with the classic exhaust-guzzling police sedans of New York in ‘Earth-1610’. Designers melted parametric pixel lights, the core design of the IONIQ lineup, throughout the Flying Prophecy to create a more futuristic feel.
‘Flying cars’ may sound boring when talking about the cars of the future, but for Hyundai, it might be real; Under the brand vision of progress for humanity, the automaker aims to provide a mobility vision that leads to AAM, PBV and HUB.
AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) is a new type of mobility that utilizes airspace to reduce travel time, PBV (Purpose Built Vehicles) is an eco-friendly urban mobility device that can accommodate various lifestyles, and HUB is a space for connection and community activities of each mobility.
Among the three directors in charge of this exhibition, Justin K. Thompson explained, “We showed our vision of mobility, where AAM picks up people in the central HUB and moves them to another HUB, and then flies to another HUB.”
It is not a flying car, but the large Hyundai emblem shines on a large car that stands out on the roads of Nueva York in the movie. It looks quite familiar - quite like ‘HDC-6 Neptune’, a concept model of a hydrogen-only heavy-duty truck unveiled by Hyundai Motor Company in 2019. This car presented the direction of future eco-friendly commercial vehicles along with a unique body specialized for hydrogen electric trucks.
The Neptune was inspired by the streamlined style of the New York Central Railroad locomotive designed in the 1930s by first-generation American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss; So it seems natural to be the Mobility of Nueva York in 2099.
The Hyundai designers also created a self-driving robo-taxi that reinterpreted the design of the Pony. Pony’s heritage, Korea’s first mass-produced model, continues with today’s innovation through the IONIQ 5. This model is also showing off its presence in the global electric vehicle market by winning the World Car of the Year at the 2022 World Car Awards.
The IONIQ 5 not only appeared with the IONIQ 6 in the commercial mentioned above, but was also exposed to global audiences along with the Tucson Hybrid in 〈Spider-Man: No Way Home〉, which was released in 2021. Peter Parker portrayed Peter Parker/Spider-Man. And in 2022, when Tom Holland starred in the movie 〈Uncharted〉, which is based on a game, the ‘Tucson Beast’, which remodeled Tucson with an off-road concept, and the Genesis G80, GV80, and G90 appeared.
However, the future mobility of Hyundai Motor Company depicted in this work feels a little different. Unlike previous works, animated vehicles made possible various challenges that were not possible before. In addition, 〈Spider-Man: Across the Universe〉 opened a new era in animation by breaking away from the existing frame and crossing 2D, 3D animation and comics, so its influence grew even more.
Just as some people will be more familiar with Pony than the latest IONIQ series, some will be more attached to the more humane Peter Parker portrayed by Tobias Maguire, Andrew Russell Garfield, and Tom Holland than to the black-Hispanic mixed-race boy Miles Morales, referred to as the second-generation Spider-Man. Nevertheless, I would like to recommend that you get a chance to get a glimpse of the possibilities of animation and the wonderful new world that Hyundai Motor Company’s future mobility will unfold through this work.
by Byeong-kwon Min
He is an auto columnist who loves cars, very close to be called crazy. He was an automotive guest writer and ran an automotive online publication. He has worked as an editor for automotive media such as RPM9, Motor Magazine, and Top Gear Korea. He is also the author of 〈Car Action - Cars in Movies〉.
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