Hyundai i-oniq - Geneva Motor Show 2012

Hyundai says, “Two arched curves are the key theme behind i-oniq, creating a strong and playful contrast between sharp character lines and soft but muscular features.” - Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre.

Spec Sheet: An electric hatchback with a three-cylinder range-extender petrol engine. The i-oniq can travel up to 120km in electric-only mode and reach around 700km with help from its engine. CO2 emissions are just 45 g/km. Top speed is 145kmh.

The i-oniq concept, like the Toyota FT-Bh, is also a car that feels as though it should be larger - after the pre-show press shots, a Cayenne-sized shooting brake was expected. In reality, the i-oniq resembles a lowered VW Golf Plus dimensionally, albeit much, much easier on the eye. A potential criticism, however, is that the i-oniq is a little too vague with its styling, something that the multi-spoke wheels and corresponding front grill try to apologize for. Hyundai describes the i-oniq’s shape as “functional”. Debatable! Nonetheless, the pretty concept continues Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language and comes complete with doors that are halfway between ‘scissor’ and ‘gullwings’, hinging on the A-pillar, as well as a unique boot-lid mechanism that operates from the roof. The i-oniq also features a targa-esque roof, where the windscreen extends back over the drivers head towards the rear boot hinge.

The cosseting cabin features a ‘lounge’ area in the back which Hyundai claim creates a positive contrast to the sports-oriented front area. ‘Mundane’ may be harsh, but for a show car that is purely conceptual, the i-oniq’s interior doesn’t offer much imagination. It’s a nice place to be, but so is the cabin of a production 5 Series. Whilst the i-oniq itself won’t make it to production, it’s hybrid powertrain, or a derivation of it, probably will.