Hyundai's electric 45 concept is headed to Frankfurt motor show

Hyundai's electric 45 concept is headed to Frankfurt motor show


The 45 concept is expected to be a tribute to Hyundai’s first independently engineered car.

Hyundai will unveil an EV concept at the Frankfurt motor show next month, paying tribute to its first mass-market car. Dubbed simply 45, the electric car will be an homage to the marque’s first independently engineered model: the Hyundai Pony.

First shown at the Turin motor show in 1974, the Pony was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign, distilling popular design themes of the time into a range that included a hatchback sedan, a station wagon and a smaller two-door hatch. That first generation of the Pony ran from 1975 till 1982, but it never made it stateside (even though Canada received the second-gen Pony for a very brief period of time, between 1984 and 1987). Its immediate successor was the Hyundai Excel, and you may recall it as the one that launched the Hyundai brand in the States.

The Pony is remembered fondly by Hyundai. But how does the automaker plan to pay homage to the car that launched the brand 45 years ago while looking to the future?

“The new concept accentuates the forward-driven design direction while exploring the evolution of Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language,” the automaker says. “‘Sensuous’ stands for enhanced emotional values that customers can experience through design, and ‘Sportiness’ is determined to implement those values through innovative mobility solutions.”

That statement is not particularly illuminating, and it’s equally unclear at the moment what bodystyle the concept will feature — it could be a four-door hatchback sedan or a two-door one. All things being equal, our money is on a two-door hatch because a four-door one could be too utilitarian and busy for a concept car.

But behind the styling exercise could very well lurk the hints of a production version; Hyundai has a number of EVs in the works that will use its new dedicated EV platform, as opposed to a gas model-derived platform used by the Ioniq and the Kona. Named Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the platform is expected to first underpin a small crossover in 2021 with an expected range of 280 miles.

This model is expected to be seen by the end of the year in concept form and in production form by next summer, but the 45 concept could preview the next model in the pipeline, which could well be a smaller sedan or hatch.

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