Hyundai’s new concept car, the all-electric, mostly-autonomous Prophecy, resembles a high-gloss pebble that’s been smoothed by hundreds of years on a riverbed. It also looks a lot like a Tesla’s face and a Porsche’s rear-end got welded together and someone took a belt sander to anything resembling an edge. Which is all to say it’s really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
Your college Hyundai Excel, this ain’t. Hyundai’s throwing out terms like “sensuous sportiness”, “ultimate automotive form” (which is ridiculous, as we all know that honor is reserved for the Jaguar E-Type), and “optimistic futurism” when describing the Prophecy, but even that level of self-congratulatory hyperbole can’t stop us from staring at it with wonder and more than a little desire. Sadly, though, it’s a concept, so not only is there no release date, but no list of vital statistics to pour over either.
Plenty of space — Thanks to the electric powertrain, there’s a flat floor which makes for a roomier interior of the sort found in a Tesla (though not, strangely, in BMW’s recently unveiled i4). This is compounded by the lack of a B pillar and the Prophecy’s front and rear doors opening in opposite directions. Like the i4, the Prophecy was meant to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, but as that’s been canceled because of the coronavirus, it’s gotten a digital reveal instead.
Stick it in joy — Because this is a concept car and intended as an autonomous one at that, there’s no steering wheel in the Prophecy. Instead, Hyundai’s opted for a pair of handle-like joysticks, one on each side of the driver’s seat. As no one will ever have to drive it, that’s as cool as it is bizarre and impractical.
High-concept, low button count — The interior is awash with screens, mood-lighting and tartan, but light on physical buttons. The exterior, meanwhile, is devoid of side mirrors and the pixelated rear lights that protrude like skyscrapers look like a car wash attendant's worst nightmare. Which is a classic concept-car fare, and we love all of it.
In fact, the only things we don’t love about the Prophecy are the size of the Hyundai logo on the hood (the text on the rear is far more tasteful), how much of a fingerprint magnet it must be with that shimmering finish, and that we shouldn’t bother imagining spending (similarly hypothetical) lottery winnings on it.