PassoCorto: Concept sports car by tomorrow’s engineers

Geneva, Switzerland, December 15, 2014 - At Hyundai , we realize that innovative design doesn’t have to come from within Hyundai to shape the future. Our PassoCorto Project is proof of that.

Hyundai’s PassoCorto Project supports young European automotive design talent while still attending school. It gave 16 students in the Transportation Design masters’ course at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy the chance to draw and design the car of their dreams – one that they would want to own and drive. The project was designed to target Generation Y, so what better way to achieve this than to ask Generation Y to show us what they believe to be the future of vehicle design.

The collaboration of the students resulted in a dramatic, compact and ultra-lightweight sports car concept called PassoCorto – Italian for ‘short wheelbase’. The compact two-seater weighs just 840 kg thanks to its carbon fibre chassis and is powered by a rear-mid mounted four-cylinder in-line 1.6-litre bi-turbo engine.

Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, said: “This exciting sports car has exceeded the high expectations we had at the start of this project, and the cooperation between our design centre and IED has been inspiring and fruitful. The PassoCorto project underlines Hyundai’s commitment to Europe – a commitment that enables us to design, develop and produce cars in Europe that suit the demanding requirement of the region’s customers.”

Appropriately for a car designed in Italy, the flowing lines of PassoCorto are finished in a fiery orange – a tribute to the bright colours that clothed many of the 1970s creations that have helped to make Italian sports car design so famous.

Heritage also inspired the original brief from Hyundai, which insisted on returning to more traditional methods, giving great importance to manual design and clay modelling. Modern-day 3D digital modelling was used only in the final stages. The car’s mechanical and technical features are very much contemporary, however, and include a video camera that not only acts as a rear view mirror, but also records high-resolution videos to be shared with friends on the web – a passion of Generation Y.

A hallmark of the potential future of vehicle design, the final concept vehicle is on display at the 2014 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva, Switzerland. If you’re in the neighbourhood, we encourage you to stop by.