Korean Brands Dominate in 2020 Good Design Awards

Jack R. Nerad | Jan 04, 2021

If you think vehicles from Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia look good these days, you have excellent taste. The three brands took home nine 2020 Good Design Awards in the Transportation category, including five for production cars. Those winners are the Genesis G80 luxury sedan, Genesis GV80 luxury SUV, Hyundai Elantra compact sedan, Kia K5 midsize sedan, and Kia Sorento midsize SUV. 

Hyundai Prophecy Concept Front Quarter View

In existence for 70 years, the Good Design awards, presented by The Chicago Athenaeum, honor products that have charted new directions for innovation and pushed the envelope for competitive products in the world marketplace. 

The upcoming Lucid Air electric vehicle (EV), Ferrari Roma sports tourer, and Nissan GT-R 50 by Italdesign performance coupe were the other production vehicles winning 2020 Good Design Awards. 

Hyundai also won awards for two of its recent concept vehicles. The Hyundai Prophecy Concept electric car and the Hyundai 45 Concept electric SUV portend the future of the soon-to-be-introduced Ioniq electric vehicle brand. The first Ioniq model, the Ioniq 5 compact SUV, will be a production version of the 45 Concept. The Prophecy foretells the Ioniq 6 sedan.

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One of the most interesting of the production vehicle winners is the Lucid Air sedan. Designed to out-duel the best from Tesla Motors, the Air doesn't just offer an award-winning design, but it also promises superior performance in terms of range and horsepower. Lucid executives say the car will deliver more than 400 miles of range on a charge and produce as much as 1,000 horsepower via its electric powertrain. 

The Ferrari Roma draws on decades of Ferrari heritage in a coupe created in-house by the Ferrari Design Centre, under Flavio Manzoni's direction. The design incorporates familiar elements from previous front-engine Ferraris with modern interior features to create a grand tourer for the 21st century.

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Showcasing a design philosophy called Sensuous Sportiness, the Hyundai Prophecy strips away complexity in favor of clean lines and minimalistic structure. It indicates the future direction of the automaker's upscale car models and will likely guide the styling of the Ioniq 6, an electric sedan coming by 2023.

Comparatively, the Hyundai 45 Concept is much more upright and angular, emphasizing SUV functionality. The interior design is as understated as the exterior, and, thanks to its basis on the Hyundai E-GMP electric vehicle platform, the design provides plenty of space for passengers and cargo. The production Ioniq 5 will look similar to it when it debuts in 2022.

The Chicago Athenaeum is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on January 4, 2020, but it may have changed since that date.

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