Hyundai breaking the mould in traditional SUV design

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Updated: May 27, 2019 7:02:40 AM

As designers, we always keep looking how we can add more oomph, more emotion to a particular car’s design.

We are breaking the mould of traditional architecture of an SUV. Again, we didn’t want the Venue to look like a stripped-down version of the Creta, so we used these unique design elements.

SY Lee, the senior vice-president & head of Hyundai Global Design Centre, has earlier worked on brands such as Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, and Bentley Bentayga and Mulsanne, which have no similarity with the Venue—the car he and his team have designed. “Sub-4 metre is a unique size for an SUV, not seen anywhere in the world,” he says. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that a major challenge was in ensuring that the Venue doesn’t look like a stripped-down version of the Creta, and so his team “used unique design elements such as rectangular design details and splitting the headlamp at the top and the bottom.”

Excerpts:

How easy, or difficult, is it to design a sub-4 metre SUV?

It’s a unique size for an SUV, not seen anywhere in the world. So, it was quite a challenge to design the Venue. But we’ve had great success with the Creta (which is slightly bigger than 4 metres in length), and we used those learnings. All along, we also didn’t want the Venue to look like a cheaper version of the Creta, so for this unique segment we faced unique challenges, but we are happy that we’ve been able to create a distinctive design. In particular, the cascading grille with the criss-cross pattern, I believe, makes the Venue look more expensive than it is.

Why does a square shape dominate the design theme—squared-out DRLs surround the main headlights, and tail-lamps and rear reflectors also have a square look…

It makes the vehicle look more stable. The rectangular design details give an SUV a dominant stance and a better road presence.

Why did you split the headlamp at the top and the bottom?

We are breaking the mould of traditional architecture of an SUV. Again, we didn’t want the Venue to look like a stripped-down version of the Creta, so we used these unique design elements.

Of all the Hyundai cars in India, the Xcent looks like an outlier. Do you plan to redesign it?

Indians are tough customers. They own their cars for a long period of time, they understand the value they are getting for their money, and for them while functionality and interior space is important, the biggest purchase reason is exterior styling. To meet all these requirements can be difficult. In a sub-4 metre sedan segment, we have limited space to play around. As designers, we always keep looking how we can add more oomph, more emotion to a particular car’s design.

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