Hyundai has won three awards from the German Design Council. Two of the awards were for the interior and exterior design of the second-generation mid-sized i30, while the third was for the company's i-oniq concept car displayed at the Geneva Motor Show.

A few years ago, Hyundai would have been an unlikely candidate to win design prizes but the company has been busy injecting style into its more recent models.

They have, in particular, been adapting them to sophisticated European tastes.

Both the i30 and the i-oniq concept were designed at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre at Russelsheim in Germany.


Hyundai's original i30 was the company's first car to match mainstream European rivals in most areas of performance.

Its success gave Hyundai a bit of room to be more adventurous with the appearance of the second-generation model, which uses the "fluidic sculpture" approach first seen on the larger i40.

It looks as though that boldness is now paying off.

The i-oniq, as well as winning admirers for its looks, also showed off a drivetrain incorporating both a petrol engine and an electric motor, which may provide some hint of future hybrid or range-extending technology from Hyundai.

Hyundai's recent emphasis on design is shared with its sister brand, Kia, which employs Peter Schreyer, formerly of Volkswagen and Audi, one of Germany's leading car designers.