Let’s Talk Parametric Dynamics
Let’s face it, the main talking point about the 2020 Hyundai Avante will always be its exterior styling. Hyundai is building on the Sensuous Sportiness design identity, and introduced the ‘Parametric Dynamics’ design language for the first time ever on the Avante.
Expect to see their future models slowly adopting this origami look. In fact, Hyundai just announced the 2021 Tucson and it is the second model to feature the Parametric Dynamics design language.
But the Tucson takes it one step further by being the first car in the world to be designed by a computer using geometric algorithms. More on that in the future.
In terms of proportions, it is meant to have a four-door coupe kind of look similar to a CLS or 8-Series Gran Coupe. The design of the Avante is dominated by straight lines intersecting at weird angles and places, kind of like something a child would have done if given just a pencil, ruler and a piece of paper.
The design of the front grille is described as a ‘parametric-jewel-pattern’ in Hyundai’s own words and the headlights and turn signals are neatly integrated with the grille. This parametric-jewel effect carries on onto the sides and the rear of the car.
At the back, there’s a thin light bar that is all the rage these days. It stretches all the way to the edges and it has a unique H-shaped look that Hyundai calls the ‘H-Tail Lamp’.
It is meant to look like Hyundai’s ‘H’ logo.
Hyundai’s design chief, Luc Donckerwolke, described the design language as breaking a taboo in car design.
By daring to be different with unconventional lines and divided body panels, they are disrupting and challenging the norms of car design. And if that is what he’s trying to achieve, he has definitely done it.
Technology and Interior
The technology available on mainstream sedans nowadays are a far cry from just a few years ago, such is the speed of progress. The new Avante comes with Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of active safety features even on the base model.
SmartSense includes: Forward-Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blindspot-Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Lane Following Assist (LFA).
Also part of SmartSense is Driver Attention Warning which detects whether a driver is losing concentration or is drowsy, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
The cruise control is especially good as you can set a predetermined distance with the car in front of you and it will follow the car in front to speed up or slow down accordingly and even come to a complete stop if necessary.
If the car in front moves off again in a short amount of time, your car will move off too without a need for your inputs. This makes it perfect for those morning or evening jams on CTE.
As for convenience, it is believed that the Avante is the first in its segment to come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and that’s a huge deal. The car also comes with a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone.
All models of the Avante come with a 10.25” instrument cluster display and an 8” infotainment display that is tilted towards the driver for easier control. There’s also dual zone automatic climate control.
The interior of the Avante has got vibes of the C8 Corvette, where the driver is well cocooned. The way the oversized front passenger grab handle blends into the dashboard and wraps around the driver into the driver’s door makes the driver feel like he’s in a cockpit.
There are metallic looking buttons peppered around the gear lever area to give it a bit of premium feel. Good news, the aircon controls are still physical buttons that are easier to use especially when you’re on the move.
There’s also rear aircon vents for rear passengers, useful in Singapore’s hot climate.
The base model in Singapore is called ‘S’ and the higher trim level is ‘Elite’.
The key features that the Elite gains over the S are 17” wheels shod with 225/45/R17 tyres vs 16” wheels with 205/55/R16 tyres, powered sunroof, driver memory seat, and heated and ventilated front seats.
So What’s Smartstream and IVT?
Just when you thought Mazda is the only one not giving up on petrol engines by giving it a new lease of life with the new SkyActiv-X engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), Hyundai joins them by introducing Smartstream with Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD).
We have to first acknowledge that Hyundai’s Smartstream is not as groundbreaking as Mazda’s Skyactiv-X technology, but it is still an innovative piece of technology that helps to eke out every last potential of a petrol engine. Engines nowadays typically comes with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) or Variable Valve Lift (VVL), or a combination of both. Hyundai built on these two existing technologies and introduced Continuously Variable Valve Duration.
This enables the engine to continuously vary the timing, the height and the duration that a valve opens depending on driving conditions.
In most engines these VVT and VVL technologies usually engage at a certain RPM to reduce complexity, but Hyundai’s CVVD is continuously monitoring engine load and RPM and the engine’s brain can decide when and at what RPM to engage. This helps to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
The only engine option in Singapore is the Smartstream Gamma II 4-cylinder 1.6-litre MPi engine producing 121bhp at 6,300rpm and 154Nm at 4,500rpm.
The engine is paired to an innovative gearbox called the IVT, which stands for Intelligent Variable Transmission. It is actually a CVT transmission but improved to virtually eliminate the feeling of belt slippage especially when moving off from a standstill.
The IVT uses a steel chain instead of a steel belt and that helps it to grip better, eliminating the feel of the belt slipping. This helps to decrease engine power loss by 5-8% which in turn improves fuel economy.
Additionally, the IVT simulates the step shifts of a conventional automatic gearbox, thereby making it feel more responsive and fun without the constant drone of a conventional CVT gearbox which holds the engine RPM constant during acceleration.
The fuel consumption of the Avante is rated at 5.4l/100km, and because it emits 124g/km of CO2 it just about sneaks into Band A2 of the VES scheme and is eligible for a $10,000 rebate.
Final Thoughts and Pricing
There is no doubt that Hyundai and Kia are on a roll recently, with bold styling helping them to stand out in a crowded segment.
The new Parametric Dynamics design language is definitely not going to please everyone, but if polarising styling is going to help Hyundai sell more cars then why not?
When BMW came out with the E65-generation 7-Series with the controversial flame surfacing design language, everyone was shocked and predicted that sales will be a flop. But now BMW is going from strength to strength and selling more cars than ever.
As with every new design language, we need to give the designers some time to refine it and make it even better. I believe in time to come, people will come to love this new design language by Hyundai.
The mechanical layout of the Avante is almost as conventional as they come in this segment, but the Smartstream CVVD engine and the IVT transmission are the highlights and these technologies will definitely help to improve fuel economy and emissions and that can only be a good thing.
Hyundai has been making big strides lately with the interior of their carsand the quality is easily up there with their Japanese rivals.
This new Avante continues the trend with an interior that looks suitably upmarket and comes packed with features never seen in this segment such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which will please their target audience.
The new Avante is priced at S$99,999 for the S model and S$106,999 for the Elite model and it comes with a 5-years unlimited mileage warranty.
With such attractive pricing and one of the best warranty out there, there is no doubt this new Avante will be one of the top selling cars in Singapore in no time.
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