The Hyundai Seven Concept left a lasting impression at AutoMobility LA 2021. Dubbed as Hyundai’s sport utility electric vehicle (SUEV), the Seven Concept previews the incoming Ioniq 7, an essential part of the automaker’s electrification strategy. It started with the segment-busting Ioniq 5, an electric hatchback that drives as well as it looks (or so they say). As Hyundai fortifies its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2045, the Seven Concept is a sneak peek at what buyers can expect from a Hyundai flagship electric SUV.
“The Seven Concept demonstrates Hyundai’s creative vision and advanced technological development for our electrified mobility future,” said Jose Muñoz, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America. “Its innovative interior space, eco-friendly powertrain, and cutting-edge safety and convenience technologies reveal an exciting future for Hyundai SUV customers.”
It may not look like it, but the Hyundai Seven is a big vehicle. We reckon it’s large enough for seven – maybe eight – seats, but Hyundai decided to present the Seven Concept as a “living space on wheels,” highlighted by its rear pillarless doors, lounge-like seats, and expansive interior room. And really, isn’t space the ultimate luxury of all?
With the Seven’s 3.2-meter wheelbase, flat floor (a significant benefit of Hyundai’s EV-dedicated E-GMP platform), and short overhangs, Hyundai had the freedom to furnish the interior unlike any other SUV on the road, electric or whatnot. “Seven represents our commitment to a human-centered approach to redefining everyday experiences,” said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor Company.
Since we’re talking about a concept, the Seven’s interior accouterments are slightly out of this world. Take the steering wheel, for instance. Instead of a conventional round steering wheel, the Seven has a tiller (literally), a retractable control stick that slithers away in full-autonomous mode. And those lounge chairs? They swivel gracefully depending on the chosen driving mode, including the front seats.
In-Car Appliances & Sanitation Tools
Yes, the Hyundai Seven Concept has in-car appliances to make the interior feel like the warm grasp of home. It has a mini-fridge, side door ambient lighting that resembles a small lampshade, and innovative shoe-care compartments with a deodorizing and sanitizing feature to keep your sneakers smelling like roses. In addition, the glass roof is a panoramic screen that can display your favorite media or wallpaper.
That’s not all. The Seven has a Hygiene Airflow System like what you’ll find in a sophisticated passenger aircraft. The system activates independently whether the vehicle is moving or not. It draws air from intakes in the roof rails to the exterior vents behind the rear wheels in vertical mode, while the air flows from the dash to the rear vents in horizontal mode. In this way, the system reduces cross-contamination among its occupants while isolating the airflow between the front and back.
Furthermore, the Hyundai Seven Concept has a built-in UVC sterilization system that automatically activates after all passengers are outside the vehicle, helping rid the cabin of harmful viruses and bacteria. In addition, the cabin is lined with hygienically-treated fabrics and copper surfaces to reduce bacterial and viral contamination.
As expected from a modern EV concept, the Hyundai Seven is brimming with eco-friendly materials and construction techniques. Hyundai claims the bamboo wood, carpets, mineral plaster, bio-resins, and interior paint are from renewable sources to reduce pollution.
We’re not big fans of the Hyundai Seven’s design, particularly its boxy, station wagon-like rear end. However, we’re in favor of the stretched wheelbase and un-SUV design cues. Unlike conventional SUVs, the Seven has smoother lines, curvier proportions, and a streamlined roofline.
Modern design cues include Parametric Pixel front lights that display a welcome lighting sequence upon boarding the vehicle. Oh, and those wheels have active air flaps that retract for lower drag or deploy to cool the brakes.
Hyundai failed to divulge the electric hardware under the sheet metal. Still, the automaker did mention it’s targetting over 300 miles of range when the Seven Concept enters production as the Ioniq 7 in the next year or two. It also said the Seven could recharge its batteries from 10 to 80 percent in around 20 minutes using a 350 kW DC fast charger. If we had to guess, it could have one or two electric motors pumping out no less than 450 horsepower in its most potent guise.
Full Steam Ahead Towards Electrification
Hyundai aims to sell 560,000 electric vehicles by 2025, and the automaker plans to introduce more than 12 EVs from here on end to achieve an eight to 10 percent global EV market share by 2040. Given the car-buying public’s current love affair with big SUVs, the Seven Concept leads Hyundai’s charge towards the industry’s most significant shift since Henry Ford invented the assembly line.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.