Hyundai Concept Vehicles and Wearable Robot Recognized in the 2020 International Design Excellence Awards®

SEOUL, September 17, 2020 – The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) has awarded Hyundai with three 2020 International Design Excellence Awards® (IDEA). The Vest Exoskeleton (VEX) has been named a Gold Award winner in the Commercial & Industrial Products category. In the Automotive & Transportation category, the Hyundai ‘45’ concept has been named a Bronze Award winner and the Hyundai Prophecy concept was named a finalist.

These models were selected for their bold and artful design innovations, enhancing quality of life and pushing conceptual and engineering boundaries. The recognition of the Hyundai 45 concept and Hyundai Prophecy concept, in particular, at the IDEA design award is significant for the company, as the two concepts give inspirations to future models to be unveiled under Hyundai Motor’s new IONIQ lineup brand.

The IONIQ lineup brand was launched in August 2020, and is dedicated to battery electric vehicles (EVs). Under the IONIQ lineup brand, Hyundai Motor will leverage its industry-leading EV-manufacturing know-how to introduce three new dedicated models (IONIQ 5 midsize CUV, IONIQ 6 sedan and IONIQ 7 SUV) over the next four years, with more innovative models to follow. The creation of the IONIQ lineup brand responds to the fast-growing market demand and accelerates Hyundai’s plan to lead the global EV market.

“Hyundai’s IONIQ EV design vision, the 45 concept, has now been recognized globally by winning an IDEA Award,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. “By winning Gold with a non-automotive design, it shows how we are expanding our design capabilities.”


The VEX enhances productivity and reduces fatigue of industrial workers by imitating the movement of human joints to boost load support and mobility. The wearable vest features a polycentric axis – combining multiple pivot points with multi-link muscular assistance – to function, eliminating the need for a battery.

At 2.5kg, VEX weighs 22-42% less than competing products and is worn like a backpack. The user places their arms through the shoulder straps of the vest, then fastens the chest and waist buckles. The back section can adjust in length by up to 18 cm to fit a variety of body sizes, while the degree of force assistance can be adjusted over six levels – up to as much as 5.5 kgf.

The newly-developed VEX is targeted at production-line workers whose job is primarily overhead, such as those bolting the underside of vehicles, fitting brake tubes, and attaching exhausts. The development of the VEX included a pilot program in Hyundai Motor Group plants in the US. The trial was widely successful in assisting workers and boosting productivity and the plants incorporated VEX systems in their production lines.

45 concept

The 45 concept foreshadows a new era of Hyundai’s automotive design focused on electrification, autonomous technologies and intelligent design. The progressive 45 puts a twist on a 45-year-old icon, the Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept, to introduce an entirely new in-car experience for self-driving vehicles of tomorrow.

The dramatic exterior styling of 45 excites the imagination and draws inspiration from the vehicle that first established Hyundai’s design DNA, the 1974 Pony Coupe Concept. The iconic character of 45 is defined by its monocoque body, aerodynamic and light-weight design inspired by aircrafts from the 1920s. The car’s name also owes itself in part to the 45-degree angles at the front and rear, forming a diamond-shaped silhouette that further foreshadows the design direction of future EV models.

The new concept strips away complexity, celebrating the clean lines and minimalistic structure of the original coupe concept. Combining heritage with vision, 45 incorporates the evolution of Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design identity. ‘Sensuous’ stands for enhanced emotional values that customers can experience through design, and ‘Sportiness’ is determined to implement those values through innovative mobility solutions.

The 45 concept has given life to the yet-to-be unveiled IONIQ 5 midsize CUV that will be launched in early 2021. IONIQ 5’s designers took inspiration from the 45 concept and integrated it into cutting-edge parametric pixels, a unique design element that Hyundai designers will continue to incorporate into future IONIQ models.

Prophecy concept

The visionary Prophecy concept vividly embodies Hyundai’s latest design identity, Sensuous Sportiness, expanding on the era-defining example set by the 45 concept EV that stripped away complexity in favor of clean lines and minimalistic structures.

Prophecy offers an iconic silhouette of perfect proportions that have been inspired by an aerodynamic design. Leveraging the extended wheelbase and shorter overhang, Hyundai designers have achieved the Ultimate Automotive Form in Prophecy, using a new EV architecture defined by pristine surfaces and pure volume in combination with aesthetic harmony and functionality.

Prophecy’s design has given inspiration to the IONIQ 6 sedan, which will be revealed in 2022.


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