It goes under a number of different names (Coupé, Tuscani, Tiburon), but whatever it’s called it derives from the Hyundai’s first concept car: the HCD-1 Coupé.
Code-named the GK the new Hyundai sports car is based on the key concept of simplicity. The coupé’s individuality was written into its DNA right from the start when Park Jong-Sau, Hyundai Motor’s Vice President of Design sent his staff a scale model of a shark with the instruction to produce the same kind of dynamic look. “The design is ageless”, explains Park, “based on a natural life form”.
The outcome, which made its debut in September 2001, is distinctly attractive. Park is unworried by the absence of any familiar look or Hyundai brand identifier.
“The absence of brand design cues is an advantage, because it allows you to be more innovative”.
The GK is also the first new Hyundai model to be designed exclusively by digital technology, which in this case involved the Silicon Graphics Onyx2 Supercomputer. True, certain nuances are lost during digitalisation, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
“Naturally, nothing can improve on a real prototype”, says Park, “but this system is so much faster and cheaper”.
“Our designers still put their ideas down on paper because they can’t think digitally” remarks the Hyundai VP, “but on the design technology front we can now match the best in the business”.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 135