Winter 2021

Noted...

This issue features an EV revamp of 80s classic, a hyper-aggressive concept car, and a partnership between tech and car design giants

Hyundai Grandeur

In the latest of what is an ongoing nostalgia trip for Hyundai, the Korean OEM has reimagined the Grandeur – a boxy saloon that was the brand’s flagship back in 1986, as a pure EV. The interior is a jamboree of plush materials, featuring burgundy velvet and Napa leather, while the old dials and buttons have been done away with, replaced by an expansive flat screen. There is a single-spoke steering wheel offering a throwback, as does the airplane-style gear selector. A bronze light beam emanating from either end of the IP extends around the cabin and is integrated into the B-pillars, while infinity mirrors reflect the whisky hue and add to the nightclub feel.

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Kia Concept EV9

Unveiled at the LA Auto show, the Concept EV9 features a serene and calming interior of blues and greys. The various elements of the IP are kept horizontal and defined by the loop-shaped forms of the large curved screen, steering wheel and floating centre console. According to senior VP of design Karim Habib, the key idea was to create a sense of protection for both driver and passenger through the use of negative space. Another important detail are the mesh headrests, redolent of ergonomic office chair design.

Building the concept

BMW IM

Angular, aggressive, even hostile – all descriptions aimed in the direction of the BMW IM concept. On the inside, the driver-centric cockpit area features a compact centre console, three vertical rectangular displays for climate controls, and a curved screen unit with a carbon-fibre surface and chrome surround. The upper sections of the seats are bulky and bucket-like, while the doors have upper and lower sections intersecting as they run at different angles. In a bid to maintain a sense of luxury, the lower half the seats are cladded in velvet and diamond quilting, while the deep-pile carpet also has a smaller diamond pattern. The striking headliner has a 3D prism pattern described by the carmaker as a "work of art." 

Pininfarina and Foxconn Model E

Pininfarina teamed up with tech giant Foxconn to create a prototype electric sedan – the Model E. A clinical exterior belies a luxurious interior with buttons, switches and visible vents integrated into a layered IP and a large screen, all of which stick to the horizontal layout aesthetic. The large screen unit wraps around behind the driver wheel and finishes above the centre console.

There is a focus on using plush materials, with the large lower section of the IP finished in the same white leather that features on the doors, centre console and seats. The rear seats can be turned into what Foxconn calls an “exclusive mobile office”. A rotating mount for a large touchscreen is positioned in between the two back seats, and facial recognition software allows occupants to interact with the vehicle.

Lexus LX600

The mammoth that is the LX 600 is back, and as you might imagine, it is a pretty swanky affair full of plush materials aimed at comfort. Several interior trims are available to choose from, with ‘Ultra Luxury’ sitting at the top. This option includes giant sofa-like seats with curved headrests and seat backs for the rear passengers. Soft urethane is included in the seats for greater vibration absorption. The new LX 600 is also the first Lexus to feature what Lexus is calling “Interface dual display.” This is essentially two separate screens – a 7-inch and a 12.3-inch – with the former positioned on the centre console bridge, and the latter directly above on the top section of the IP.