The last time Hyundai’s European Design Center collaborated with Turin, Italy’s Instituto Europeo di Design (IED), we got the PassoCorto concept in 2014. That four-year-old vision made an appearance in recent news feeds, as a potential harbinger of a mid-engine Hyundaisports car when the Theta II engine arrives. The Korean carmaker is at it again with IED, and this time the two have worked up a doorles, roofless, windowless buggy referred to as the Kite concept, planned for display at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
The full-sized scale model measures 12.2 feet long, 7.3 feet wide, and 4.7 feet high — that’s about four inches shorter and one inch taller than a Mini Cooper, but 20 inches wider. Being a model, the Kite won’t be fitted with any powertrain, but the students behind the project envision one brushless electric motor on propulsion duty. This is the first of IED’s previous 14 automaker collaborations to have an interior, so the 15 students from nine countries who worked on the project did their homework, tapping Gruppo Sila for the shift-by-wire gearbox, and Sabelt for the seat and seatbelts.
Guests to the stand will be able to experience the Kite concept through virtual reality, while the whiz-bang gearbox gets shown in a separate, dedicated area. The design school’s annual project serves as the thesis project for the Masters in Transportation Design program. Last year’s offering, the Scilla concept prepared with Pininfarina, was a 180-degree departure from the Kite, but the students spent time off-road recently with their McLaren crossover concepts of 2010. If you’re smitten with this year’s product, you won’t be able to buy it, but Hyundai does sell an actual kite.