There were a lot of awesome and bizarre vehicles at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, but I think I found the one I want the most: this concept dune buggy / Jet Ski mashup from Hyundai.
Designed in partnership with the Istituto Europeo di Design, the Hyundai Kite is an all-electric four-wheeler that can also apparently double as a personal watercraft. It’s a true design concept, meaning there are no real specs to speak of, but the general idea is there’s an electric motor in each wheel powering the all-wheel drive performance on land and a water jet turbine that takes over once you’re out on a lake or ocean.
Exactly how the ingress and egress work isn’t totally clear, and there’s no plan to put the thing into production, but as far as personal vehicles go, this is the kind of idea I can get behind. It’s got the open-air freedom of an ATV with the added value of being able to drive it to a dock to go rip donuts in a lake. Other than a flight mode, what more could you want?
The Kite is the kind of thing you build with your Lego as a kid, knowing full well that vehicles like it don’t exist while also believing in your heart that one day you’ll get to drive something like it. Best of all, it looks like the fact that this thing can be driven in the water hasn’t completely ruined the aesthetics of its land-borne form. There’s always been something fascinating about cars that can double as boats, but specialty vehicles like that usually come with the trade-off of looking like a low-rent Transformer. This Hyundai concept manages to tease the idea without doing the same.
Maybe that’s because the (typically) smaller, more adaptable electric technology allows for a more clever design, or maybe it’s just because the students thought of a rad idea and Hyundai let them run with it because they probably won’t put it into production. Either way, it’s one of the few really fun ideas to come out of Geneva that doesn’t have a price tag in the millions, and it also has nothing to do with buzzy terms like VTOL or Level 5. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that.