Image: Hyundai (Twitter)

Hyundai running with retrofuturism for an electric concept car that’s scheduled to drop at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 10. The『45』is sharp, stark, and somehow simultaneously optimistic and dystopian.

Update Sept. 6, 2019 12:00 p.m. pst: Hyundai reached out to clarify that the unusual brackets used around the 45’s name in press releases are “not a part of [the] official name and [were] used in the initial teasing release just to highlight the name.”

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We discussed the car a little bit last month when the first teaser came out, but the new slightly-angled image gives us a better idea of what the EV hatchback might look like.

So far the company seems to only want to tease out images of the car’s backside, but the aggressively slabby nature of the design and dot-matrix looking lights is very Blade Runner. It’s certainly meaner than Honda’s electric compact car, but similarly semi-classic.

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai’s press release describes it as: “Inspired by looking back at the brand’s first model in the 1970s, the『45』 fully-electric concept car will act as a symbolic milestone for Hyundai’s future EV design.”

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Those weird『』symbols are apparently stylized Asian quotation marks, by the way. But, as pointed out in my update, apparently not officially part of the concept car’s name. And I’m already tired of copy-pasting them around this blog. The 1970s model being referenced would be the Pony, which was probably a pretty standard looking machine in 1975 but seems rather handsome in 2019.

Photo: Hyundai

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The concept that came out a year earlier was a little more radical and maybe closer to what Hyundai is hoping to evoke with the new『45』:

Photo: Hyundai

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If the new EV is anywhere near that extreme, I think we’re in for a treat. But keep in mind, whatever the Korean automaker trots out in Germany will be a concept to “hint at the future of Hyundai Motor’s EV design.”

If people are fired up, maybe the company will start stamping it out for production. Then again, didn’t we hear that about the Santa Cruz?