“Hyundai is ready for take-off, literally, in 2028”

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler visited Hyundai's R&D base in Korea and was impressed with the brand’s future plans for taking to the sky

Opinion - Urban Air Mobility

It’s hard not to be impressed by Hyundai these days. From its range of award-winning cars to the work it’s doing around sustainability, the Korean firm is showing more established brands the way forward.

I’ve been out in Korea for the home unveiling of the new Ioniq 6, a car that outpunches the Tesla Model 3 when it comes to range. At the same time, Hyundai confirmed its first hot EV, the Ioniq 5 N, while also revealing two concepts that are rolling test beds for future hot models.

One of the concepts, the N Vision 74, is another stunner produced by SangYup Lee, Brit Simon Loasby and the Hyundai team. It’s inspired by the Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned Hyundai Pony Coupé, which in turn inspired the DMC DeLorean used in the movie Back To The Future.

As with many concepts, if the reaction is positive, there’s a chance it may be built – so let us know what you think.

However, one stop on our Korean tour was at Hyundai’s R&D base, where ex-NASA exec Dr Jaiwon Shin, head of Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility Division, told us about the company’s plan to muscle in on ‘air taxis’. “It’s not about flying cars, it’s about air vehicles,” Dr Shin told us.

At this week’s Farnborough Air Show, Hyundai is displaying an interior mock-up of its Urban Air Mobility vehicle. It’s been designed by Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai’s Chief Creative Officer, using automotive techniques and advanced, sustainable materials.

This battery-powered, drone-like, four-to-five-seater is designed to take off and land vertically, and transport people over the top of traffic jams on short journeys. First commercial flights are expected in 2028.

“Demand is so strong, it will happen,” said Dr Shin. “We’re seeing the convergence of technologies from non-aviation sectors and building new roads in the sky.”

All car companies have to move with the times, but Hyundai seems to be moving faster than most.

Click here for more on Hyundai's stunning N Vision 74 concept...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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