I was amazed to read about the Concept featuring drones instead of headlights. It was just mind-boggling. Until recently, I used to see stuff like that in sci-fi movies and yet Audi came up with one, a couple of months ago. And just when I thought headlights couldn’t get any better, Hyundai makes a pair of its own, disappear!

The ongoing LA motor show served as the ideal podium for Hyundai to take the wraps off its latest design - the Vision T Concept. Touted to reflect the future design for the next-gen Tucson SUV, Hyundai claims it to be “innovative and eco-focused”.

While they took care of the latter part of their adjectives by equipping it with a hybrid powertrain, the former adjective is where Hyundai took an interesting approach. Aspiring to be on the cutting edge of the most dynamic SUV designs, the Vision T certainly gains the edge with its Hidden Signature Lamp.

Just like most of the current crop of EVs, the front end is constituted by a closed grille. However, the one in the Concept is an active one flanked by half mirrors on either side. Hence, when the Concept is in motion, each cell of the Parametric Air Shutter Grille, as Hyundai calls it, moves in a prescribed sequence. Quite similar to the opening sequence of a high-security prison gate. This is done to provide a controlled flow of air to the powertrain, aiding fuel efficiency and aerodynamics.

The side-flanked half mirrors are said to act as integrated headlights. When operational, they are meant to reflect light outside by way of hidden DRLs and when not, blend it with the rest of the closed grille, giving out an impression of not having headlights at all.

The same goes for the rear taillights. They stay hidden until the Concept’s powertrain isn’t operational. However, the Vision T also features a prescribed light extinguishing sequence, similar to the one seen in the new Audi A6 or the A7, that ends with the rear lights converging towards the illuminated Hyundai logo.

Duplicating or not, the overall design of the car is what bowled me over. The designers at Hyundai have undoubtedly churned out a handsome, butch looking SUV. Although, a part of the headlights resembles the Range Rover Evoque to me, the rising yet broad shoulder-line, squared-off wheel arches and fenders and striking cuts and slices all around the car sums it up to be a head-turner.

While Hyundai hasn’t disclosed any powertrain specs, they did reveal that the charging port is on the passenger side rear quarter panel and features a sliding cover. Hyundai claims this component will even illuminate when charging. How insightful!

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