Some concept cars are better than others. Some show new design languages, some preview upcoming models and some are just so crazy everyone knows that they are not going to become anything. Hyundai Kite is probably the later – it is a two seater dune buggy, created in a partnership with the Turin-based Istituto Europeo di Design.
The Kite was revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. It was created by a team of students from the Istituto Europeo di Design working together with the Hyundai Design Centre Europe. It is a lightweight buggy that can be transformed into a single-seater jet-ski. While the design is so wild it will never reach production, it is not a useless creation. In this way Hyundai is contributing to the education of young designers and collecting some ideas for the future designs. At the end of the day, while Hyundai is a South Korean brand, 85% of the models sold in Europe are designed, tested and produced in Europe.
The Hyundai Kite is a bit of a minimalist vehicle. It is a dune buggy with a futuristic look and materials. It has no windows, no doors, no roof. Kite features somewhat a sleek looking profile with low-slung seats. Its surface is twisting and flowing and interlacing. Clearly, aerodynamics was never a concern as this vehicle would be driven exclusively over rough terrains only if it was ever launched in production. However, not only does Hyundai Kite go off-road, it can also go in water. It is powered by a four brushless electric motors placed inside the wheels and a water jet turbine for travelling on water. In other words, the Kite is a transformer, which can become a jet-ski very easily.
The designer team aimed to reduce barriers between exterior and interior, which doesn’t sound like it would make for a safe car. However, it does have a monocoque chassis with a length of 3,745 mm and a height of 1,455 mm. Some roll-over protection is also evident as well. Hyundai Kite features a square stance, with wheels at every corner, making approach angles huge. Ride height is also respectably tall, which would make it perfect for off-roading. Finally, the concept car is wearing some chunky off-road tires, which would be useful in some sand dunes or muddy forest trails.
However, none of this will ever become a reality. Hyundai cannot make such wild cars as it is simply not in the brand’s character. On the other hand, there are other brands that may someday introduce something like this and we would happily welcome it on the road.