Hyundai Nuvis Concept at 2009 New York Auto Show

  • Looks like: Hyundai is ripping off Mazda’s concept style
  • Defining characteristics: Gull-wing doors, hybrid drivetrain
  • Ridiculous features: “Battlestar Galactica”-themed interior
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Unlikely; we doubt even the styling will be seen in future Hyundais

Hyundai says the Nuvis “hints” at a future crossover, but taking a gander at its wild-looking sheet metal it seems more than one generation removed from the company’s current style, which can only be categorized as conservative.

Regardless, the Nuvis is a true concept in that it has a wild interior dominated by an organic-shaped dashboard backlit in blue, which reminds me of something out of “Battlestar Galactica.” Sci-fi fans will probably pick up on the “Tron”-themed blue lines on the floor, as well.

The designers’ science fiction inspiration doesn’t stop there, as the gull-wing doors give a nod to Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” Where does all this flight of fancy leave us? Well, car lovers might like to know the guts of the Nuvis rely on a hybrid powertrain aiming at 228 hp, with a lithium polymer battery pack helping gas mileage. The company estimates a crossover running such a setup would get 34/35 mpg city/highway.

The exterior also has a low drag coefficient, but those stylish 22-inch wheels will certainly cut down on fuel efficiency. The battery pack also eats into rear cargo room quite a bit despite the space-saving lithium polymer packs.

The Nuvis sure is a wild concept, but if Hyundai can get this type of hybrid performance in a traditional crossover body, it will have a big winner on its hands. More photos below.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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