News: Hyundai shows radical Intrado concept inspired by flight

Can I see your pilot's licence, Miss?

NOT SO long ago, Hyundai was turning out indifferent cars such as the Sonata and the Trajet. But what a difference a decade makes and to prove it, here’s its latest concept, the Intrado.

Far from being a trendy but meaningless name, as is so often the case with concept cars, intrado is the term for the underside of an aircraft’s wing. It is the surface that provides lift, enabling flight to take place.

No, the Intrado won’t carry you over traffic jams; instead, its links with aeronautics are in the super-lightweight materials and advanced construction techniques the designers at Hyundai’s European R&D centre have employed to create it. More significantly, it uses a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain that the car maker says is both smaller and lighter than that powering the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.

The concept, which Hyundai will show at the Geneva motor show next year, appears to be a blend of sporty SUV and coupé. It is not based on any existing Hyundai. Instead, says Peter Schreyer, chief designer at Hyundai, “It envisages a motoring future that encapsulates the efficiency and freedom associated with flying.”

If he’s right, perhaps in addition to showing a policeman your driver’s licence, you will also soon be required to show your pilot’s licence.