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Not just another design concept, Hyundai’s Intrado shows off next-gen fuel cell

It’s auto show season, and that means that every week we are deluged with news from carmakers about amazing, breathtaking, and improbable new concept cars.

At first, it’s exciting, but after the 20th concept car you, tend to get a bit tired of things. Well, Hyundai has managed to do something impressive; they have perked my interest back up with the Intrado fuel cell concept.

The Intrado is set to physically debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, so for the time being Hyundai is holding back on many of the details. But the information we have gives cause for interest.

The car is based off of the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 – five points to Hyundai for holding title for silliest marketing speak – design language. In this case that design language has been inspired by an aircraft, and has a name that normally refers to underside of a wing.

The aircraft inspired body will be made of a composite of advanced materials “joined using a revolutionary technique.” This is almost certainly hyperbole, but it is still interesting in so far as it hints at the fact that this concept is also an engineering demonstrator.

This brings me to what really interests me about the car: the fuel cell drivetrain. Hyundai already announced that it will begin selling an entire range of fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. and elsewhere. That gives any announcement about fuel cell technology a great deal of added weight.

In this case, Hyundai claims that the fuel cell in the Intrado is smaller and lighter than the current ix35 design. Even if Hyundai isn’t serious about producing the Intrado, it looks like it could feature some important technology for the next generation of vehicles.

I am looking forward to learning more when Geneva rolls around. After all, we here at DT are big fans of fuel cell technology.