2014 Hyundai PassoCorto Is Torino Design Vision Come to Life!

 2014 Hyundai PassoCorto

There are many features of the Hyundai PassoCorto Concept that really excite the eye — in ways that the similarly-sized Alfa-Romeo 4C simply does not.

A few favorites include the LED lighting in back, which forms a solid light bar the nearly the entire width of the machine.

This rear lightbar also forms a (nearly) free-form plane of the Hyundai rearward — improving aerodynamics dramatically.

There are numerous other semi-overlapping sheer planes in the PassoCorto design, with near-flat surfacing that appears aero-optimized, clean-cut and also exceptionally-modern.

The PassoCorto’s fused-layering is quite unique and innovative. The overall sheer surfacing and complex form language is in sharp relief next to (what could be) this car’s twin: the KIA GT4 Stinger concept, shown below.





Folded panels in the PassoCorto most notable over the front wings and the rear canopy. Overall, a decadent and stunning showpiece that will hopefully lead to some promising careers for these talented designers.

So what is PassoCorto, and where did these ideas come from?

  • PassoCorto means short wheelbase in Italian.

  • Hyundai enlisted the Instito Europeo di Design in Turin, Italy to work on this sports car vision as a sort of ‘Master’s thesis’ of sorts.

The IED team on this project numbered about eight talented Gen Y folks, and completed this stunning clay model after collaborating with Hyundai of Europe’s executive teams in Russelheim, Germany.

This is part of a twin $10-million-dollar investment in college-level engineering and design student projects for Hyundai Europe.

Pairing this home-grown design talent with Hyundai’s new (est.) $6-million-dollar Nurburgring program for high-speed track performance and handling on all road cars?It can only mean one thing: Promising things to come from Hyundai!


  • Students at IED in Turin create ultra-lightweight sports car concept
  • Project realised as Transportation Design course marks 20th anniversary
  • Car designed to connect with ‘Y’ generation shown at Geneva Motor Show

Offenbach, 4 March 2014

Hyundai has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to Europe by commissioning students at the famous Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy, to create a sports car that would appeal to Generation Y consumers. The final concept was displayed on the IED stand at the 2014 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva, Switzerland.

The brief, drawn up by Hyundai’s European R&D centre in Rüsselheim, Germany, called for the 16 students on the Transportation Design masters’ course at IED to draw and design the car of their dreams. The car should be one they would want to buy and drive, targeting Generation Y –consumers born between the 1980s and the early years of this millennium, who have grown up with computers and are used to being connected at all times.

The result is 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.

Skills for the Future and Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs

Hyundai’s support for Europe’s youth through two career and skills development programmes is being expanded during the 2013/2014 academic year. Skills for the Future and Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs will both roll out in more countries and create engagement with more school and university students.

Hyundai is investing €3 million in both programmes, designed to support young people across Europe and encourage the economic recovery of the region, which currently faces record levels of youth unemployment.

Skills for the Future aims to bridge the skills gap between education and the demands of the job market, while Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs programme helps students turn their business dreams into reality by providing financial and mentoring support.

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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