No one denies that South Korea has Seoul. But does Hyundai have the drive to build on its reputation as an international industry leader? After making an impressive debut at the 2006 L.A. Auto Show, the Hellion sport utility crossover concept car provides some insight into just how far the Korean automaker will go to maintain its momentum heading into the next decade.
Hyundai has come a long way since the days when David Letterman poked fun at the defective Excel on the Late Show. The Hellion displays an unconventional frame design that most observers describe as a thick golden skin stretched over three prominent ribs. Other features include tail lights that stick out like aerodynamic fins, a removable camouflage top, and built-in reservoirs to hold drinking water. The drop down LCD monitor and wireless Internet access provide more modern alternatives to simply scoping the scenery outside your window. When you want to step outside and explore, grab a detachable in-seat backpack and make like Magellan.
As for performance, the Hellion uses a 3.0 L, 236 hp V6 common rail diesel engine with 6 speed automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive.
Overall, the Hellion’s unconventional design and unique extras have left some observers scratching their heads. Others appreciate that an established company can get progressive in ways no one could have imagined. In any event, look for many of these elements to make their way into a Hyundai sometime soon.
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– Posted by Taeho Lim