The concept car was developed by the international design students of the two-year Master in Transportation Design of IED Turin, by simulating the typical processes of an automotive design center.
The brief was to create a fun and functional vehicle for two passengers. The historical reference was the dune buggy, an iconic type of cars very trendy during the 1960s and 1970s. It embodied the desire for freedom, fun and unconstrained off road, but also found applications in the professional and military sectors.
After fifty years, the students were challenged to rethink this vehicle by adopting a different formula and architecture.
The end result is a vehicle that can become a single-seat jet ski, underlining the concept of freedom. The name Kite evokes the “air”, which along with “earth” and “water” – the environment where the vehicle can move – was used as an inspiration for the shapes and functions of the car.
Very compact in dimensions – length 3745mm; width 2235mm; height 1455mm; wheelbase 2580mm – Kite is based on monocoque chassis which is in line with the overall design flow, stemming from the interior towards the exterior.
“The lines are thought to convey an idea of floating and freedom, strictly connected to idea of spending free time near the water. Its features are less formal thanks to the removal of the barriers between the interiors and exteriors and the elements that define them, like doors, pillars, roof and windshield: the surfaces interlace creating a continuum of unexpected twisting and intersections.”
Both vehicles (dune buggy and jet ski) are equipped with electrical powertrains: the buggy uses four brush-less engines placed inside the wheels, whereas the jet-ski propulsion comes from a water jet turbine.
Due to nature of the vehicle, on this occasion the interiors were also prototyped.
The Kite’s cockpit provides an intuitive, advanced interface which allows to use a mobile phone to control all the main functions
Besides, the driver and the passenger positions can be exchanged by shifting steering wheel and mobile-pad according to their needs, driving style and the country.
“At Hyundai, we constantly work on the design evolution of our brand, which is the key to our success in Europe” – says Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer European Design Center Hyundai.
“At the same time we invest in the future of car design by supporting universities. Once again the partnership with IED design school allows us to contribute to the education of young designers. Hyundai Europe is very excited about this collaboration and we are looking forward to see the unveiling of the Kite concept at the next Geneva Motor Show”.
“During these fifteen years, the Geneva audience got used to the design challenges and considerations proposed by IED” – comments Riccardo Balbo, Dean IED Italy.
“The idea that drives an international network to take part to such an important venue is to give free rein to a young and uncontrolled energy, re-organise it under the direction of important partners, developing visions and train designers with good skills and a promising future”.
Master in Transportation Design IED Turin
Hyundai Kite was designed within IED mobility lab – a studio for cross-disciplinary development and innovation linked to the theme of mobility- headed by Luca Borgogno, former student at IED, whose twenty years of experience culminated at Lamborghini and Pininfarina.
IED mobility Lab aims at teaching students to widen their horizons, providing them with a solid project culture that responds in the best way possible to the changes and challenges our world is facing.
Following the same modus operandi, the fifteen students of the Master IED, under the supervision of the course coordinator Alessandro Cipolli and with the guide of Nicola Danza, Design Manager Hyundai, developed the Kite, by going through the same phases and processes used by the largest automotive design centers, thus giving them the chance to experience a professional environment.
The project is the result of teamwork: each student was asked to present a proposal that met the requirements of the brief by European Design Center Hyundai, then the best solutions were selected and combined into the final version of the dune buggy.
Hyundai Kite was realised by NCS | NewCast Services Srl, partner for prototyping, together with the technical sponsor: AM Costruzione Modelli Srl, Freeland.car Srl, OZ Racing, Clinic Car Italia.
The gearbox of Hyundai Kite is the outcome of a joint collaboration between the Transportation Design and Product Design programs of IED Turin and Gruppo Sila, an Italian global player that manufactures and develops automotive components. Gruppo Sila will exhibit other two proposals of full by-wire gearbox developed by the same students.
The seats and safety belts are the outcome of a collaboration with Sabelt. Eventually, the audience will have the chance to experience the concept car thanks to a virtual reality feature designed by Protocube Reply.
(Image Courtesy: IED for Car Body Design)