Hyundai 45 EV production hatchback spied for the first time

Joel Stocksdale

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Last fall, Hyundai celebrated the 45th anniversary of its original concept car with another concept, the Hyundai 45 EV. It blended the angular Giugiaro-penned lines of that Pony Coupe concept with the company's early Pony hatchback production car. The result was a crisp, retro hatchback design, though with few details to suggest an upcoming model. But one of our spy photographers discovered that there's definitely a production version coming.

This 45 prototype certainly carries the spirit of its concept progenitor. Despite the camouflage, the front fascia has the same angular grille and sunken-in headlights. The profile has the crisp angles and forward-leaning rear hatch. It has clearly been tweaked for reality, though. The glass area is much larger, and the body does appear to have been smoothed out somewhat. We can't tell if the 45-degree character lines from the concept made the transition to production because of the side coverings. It's also sporting different wheels than the concept, but they're still faceted and geometric to fit the theme.

Hyundai gave next to no specifications for the Frankfurt concept car except that it's electric with batteries in the floor. That certainly matches the layout of many modern EVs. We wouldn't be surprised if the 45 borrows the big 64-kWh battery pack from the Kona Electric along with its 201-horsepower front electric motor. Our spy photographer suggests that a rear motor for all-wheel drive could be in the cards, but we can't tell for sure from these photos. If it does have that option, it will be a first for Hyundai, which has only offered front-drive, single-motor EVs up to this point. We can at least see that this 45 prototype has independent rear suspension. And based on this prototype, the 45 looks pretty much finished, so we expect to see it fully revealed sometime this year.

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