The Prophecy is inspired by vintage cars of the 1920s and 30s, with a smooth, coupé-like design. Sweeping curves and smooth lines set it apart from the angular 45, another Hyundai concept car that was revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
However, like the 45, it inherits the design language of pixel lights. Its dynamic shape and rear spoiler give it a sporty appearance, and propeller-shaped wheels reduce air resistance. This look is based on Hyundai’s design identity: Sensuous Sportiness. Inside, the car exudes relaxation, with dark colours and natural materials that hark back to nature. This is meant to create a completely new type of in-car experience.
“The word ‘sensuous’ integrates the value of more emotion in our designs. ‘Sportiness’ implies dynamics, to be reactive of what’s happening around us,” says Donckerwolke. “Sensuous Sportiness is not about a new language or philosophy. It’s about a new concept in the creation of our cars.”
No steering wheel, but joysticks
One of the unique characteristics of the Prophecy is the steering mechanism. Rather than a steering wheel mounted high on the dashboard in front of the driver, the Prophecy is controlled by dual joysticks located left and right from the driver: one on the centre console and the other on the door trim.
In combination with a spacious interior, this not only creates a more comfortable seating position while driving, but also frees up more space on the dashboard for other features. In addition, 90% of the vehicle’s functions can be controlled via buttons on the joysticks, so there is no need for the driver to take his or her hands off the joysticks to change the music. This ergonomic setup is known as the Intuitive Human Interface, with the benefit of increasing passenger safety as well as visual freedom.
Optimised seating position through Smart Posture Care System
Installing joysticks is not the only way the seating position has become more ergonomic in the Prophecy. The new Smart Posture Care System (SPCS) allows drivers to enjoy an optimised seating position based on their individual physique.
The driver can either adjust the seat manually to fit his or her preferences or allow the car to suggest a “smart” seating position. In “smart” mode, the driver enters their height, seated height, and weight, and the car automatically adjusts to the driver’s individual physique. The SPCS controls the seat, steering wheel, mirror and Head-Up Display, and is based on medically verified information.
Relax mode: turning a vehicle into an entertainment space
The infotainment system is integrated into a large screen stretching across the entire front of the vehicle’s interior. When not driving, the car can be used as an entertainment space by switching into Relax Mode. In Relax Mode, the seats recline and the dashboard swivels upwards, creating the optimal seating position from which to enjoy the content on the display.
Because of the lack of a steering wheel, the occupants have virtually zero visual obstacles – they see only the horizontal pillar-to-pillar display and the wing-shaped dashboard. As autonomous driving technology progresses, the potential for vehicles to be used as relaxation spaces will grow in importance.
Cleaning the air inside and outside the vehicle
Not only is the Prophecy a zero-emissions electric vehicle, but it also cleans the air. This is due to a unique air filtration system with a fine dust sensor built into the vehicle. When particle levels inside the vehicle get too high, the air system activates, taking in fresh air from the outside, filtering it for purity, and circulating the clean air throughout the vehicle. Moreover, this does not just happen when the car is driving – the Prophecy continues to clean the air, even when it is idling or charging, and even if no one is inside.
In most cars, the driver or passenger rolls down the window when they want a breath of fresh air. With the Prophecy, the air is always fresh, so the windows of dual-pane glass are locked in place. When the air inside the vehicle grows stale, fresh air is allowed in via intake valves at the front of the vehicle. When no fresh air inside the car is needed, the filtered air is pumped back into the outside world via two outlets at the bottom of the side doors. This system is significantly more energy efficient than a traditional ventilation system.
Platform and powertrain
Following the 45, the Prophecy is the second Hyundai vehicle built on the Electric Global Modular Platform or “E-GMP” – Hyundai’s first dedicated EV platform. A dedicated EV platform opens a world of possibilities for new design and comfort features.
Electric powertrains are much more compact than internal combustion engines, which means there is no need for a wide front hood or a bulky centre console. This allows automotive designers to reclaim the space for passenger use, and to reimagine the range of in-car experiences.