A new electric concept from Hyundai Motor Company arrives as no significant surprise, joining numerous other concept vehicles portending an electrified future promising to eclipse the combustion engine era. But we’re unsure whether anyone prophesied the Prophecy EV would arrive sans steering wheel.
Before we explore the interior, can we talk about the Prophecy’s sleek silhouette? Intended to embody the South Korean automaker’s philosophy of “Sensuous Sportiness”, alongside a design ethos of “Optimistic Futurism”, the curvilinearity of the car’s lines present a captivating aerodynamic form – one exploiting the vehicle’s skateboard battery platform into an extended wheelbase with shorter overhang that seems to flow from one end to the other in equal measure.
As a whole, the vehicle’s sweeping gestural beltline forgoes the language of aggression for an expressive gentle sweep, directing the eyes eventually toward the Prophecy’s boat-tailed rear. The perception is one of movement even at a standstill not unlike the streamline moderne automotive forms of the 1930s and 40s, or more recently, the Audi TT.
Complementing the Prophecy’s minimal and modern exterior, Hyundai’s designers have proposed an even more unconventional interior, one most notable for the absence of a steering wheel. Instead, the steering wheel is replaced by two joysticks designed to pivot left and right when the vehicle’s autonomous driving setting is switched off, turning the task of driving into a videogame-like experience.
While the vehicle checks off across the list with quintessentially “futuristic” details like an LED-illuminated interior and wraparound displays galore, the Prophecy’s contoured topographic floorscape – enhanced by low intensity ambient lighting gently modulated to “encourage rest and relaxation” – veers into more novel design territory, as does the tartan upholstered seats complementing the cerulean-tinted cabin.
The Hyundai’s Prophecy EV concept was originally scheduled to debut at the canceled Geneva Motor Show, a sensuous casualty of the worldwide precautions being made across numerous industries in light of coronavirus. But if the Prophecy’s design language is any indicator, the (re)interpretation of this electrified, autonomous EV hints car design could possibly return toward a more “sensuous” era of movement.