Unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, the QarmaQ Crossover Coupe is Hyundai’s Advanced Technology Demonstration Vehicle (ATDV) that showcases over 30 different technologies which will be selectively incorporated into Hyundai’s new models to be rolled out from 2008-2014.
Among the technical highlights is “Elastic Front™”, an innovative solution that can help reduce the risk of severe injuries in Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUV) pedestrian collisions.
QarmaQ was designed at Hyundai Motor Europe’s Design and Technical Center in Russelsheim and engineered in cooperation with GE Plastics.
The name “QarmaQ” derives from traditional Inuit dwellings, constructed from earth, whalebone and animal skins.
Like them, QarmaQ challenges conventional ideas on construction methods and materials. Also in common with the original structures, it boasts unusual strength, resilience and protection.
From the official Press Release:
As a joint project with GE Plastics, QarmaQ endowed designers with greater expressive freedom to create complex three-dimensional shapes that could not have been achieved with conventional production methods and materials such as metal and glass.
“The powerful profile and stance of the design incorporates dynamic, sculptural qualities and elegant sportiness on one hand, with smooth refined surfaces on the other,” said Thomas Bürkle, chief designer, Hyundai Motor Europe.
“Moreover, the various properties of the GE materials allowed more freedom in meeting or even exceeding safety requirements.
“The result is a uniquely balanced and harmonic design both inside and out,” he added.
Departing from conventional car design that combines a lower body and a glass cabin on top, QarmaQ blazes a new trail with panoramic wrap-around glazing area using GE’s Lexan™ polycarbonate resin.
This part sits between the two pronounced “muscles” above the front and rear wheels.
The C-shaped side window enables innovative helicopter-like downward visibility and is a key design feature demonstrating the new glazing technology.
Connected by unique glazed surfaces, the exterior design relates strongly to, and interacts effortlessly with the interior.
The unique division between the solid bodywork and transparent glazed areas creates a new perspective, whether viewed from inside or from the pedestrian standpoint.
The exterior contours and fluidity of line have been refined to give an immediate impression of movement frozen in motion.
This aesthetic is mirrored in the interior, so that the fusion and merging of the perceptual boundaries between inside and out delivers a feeling of integration and synchronization to the overall appearance.
Although QarmaQ does not have a high waistline or small window area (conventional methods to convey a feeling of protection), the exterior design still communicates a commanding presence and a feeling of protection to the occupants.
“The QarmaQ’s exterior design communicates a commanding presence and a feeling of protection to the occupants,” said Robert Butterfield, global market director, GE Plastics.
“The twin domes on the sunroof, facilitated by the new glazing technology, increases the inner space for the rear passengers and creates a unique design feature.”
The wrap-around windscreen, in combination with the elongated bonnet delivers dramatic, almost classic, proportions and gives the car a unique sporty feeling. Finally, the contrast of the strong dark coloured areas to the lighter tonal areas emphasizes QarmaQ’s off-road DNA.
QarmaQ is designed to carry four people in above average comfort. The extensive use of new materials and techniques has resulted in a more fluid and unified interior, by allowing seamless integration of otherwise intrusive elements.