Hyundai Motor America stages the unveiling of its Nuvis concept cross/utility vehicle at the New York auto show today.

The Korean auto maker says the CUV “hints at a possible design direction for a future-generation crossover, blending attributes of a tall urban car and a premium utility vehicle.”

A company source tells Ward’s the Nuvis showcases some of the design cues to be seen in the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe CUV.

The Nuvis is powered by Hyundai’s Blue Drive parallel hybrid-electric architecture, which in the CUV concept joins the auto maker’s Theta 2.4L 4-cyl. gasoline engine, a 30 kW electric motor and 6-speed automatic transmission.

The auto maker’s Integrated Starter Generator stop-start technology shuts off the engine at a stop and automatically restarts it when pressure is applied to the accelerator. A 270V lithium-ion battery stores electricity.

The Nuvis, the eleventh in a series of concepts from Hyundai’s Irvine, CA, studio, was designed with constant motion in mind.

“Our goal was to create a living machine, constantly moving, that the driver and passengers could be part of,” says Hyundai Design Manager John Krsteski. “There are no lines on or in this car that are standing still.”

Prominent design features include the hour-glass shape framing the Nuvis’ blue-acrylic-shield grille; glowing white rings around the headlamps; red rings in the taillights; 22-in. wheels; body-side lines mimicking flowing water; and a roof that appears to float, thanks to the use of hidden pillars and high-contrast glass, says Hyundai Senior Designer Andre Hudson.

“This effect starts at the headlamps and is carried all the way through to the taillights, producing a tall, strong body-side and rear,” he says. Other exterior design features include gull-wing doors; blue-hued ambient lighting and brushed aluminum trim.

Inside, the Nuvis echoes its exterior, notably the grille, with a cool-blue acrylic center stack “that ebbs and surges in the manner of a river,” Hyundai says. The auto maker describes the vehicle floor as “cascading.” Blue ambient lighting is featured.

The CUV’s four seats are noted as “business class,” and Hyundai says a Methode Electronics TouchSense system allows each passenger to communicate with each other.

The infotainment system is fed by real-time signals transmitted directly to the vehicle. “The occupants, for instance, can learn of a restaurant’s specials that evening as they drive past it,” Hyundai says.

To create the seat fabric that features a silver-to-black sunburst, Hyundai partnered with textile supplier True Inc., which specializes in eco-friendly materials. The fabric in the Nuvis is made of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester derived from soda bottles.

“Hyundai collaborated with the True creative team to produce this unique fabric, with an 80-in. (203-cm) repeat, providing a fabric that is as attractive to the environment as it is to the viewer,” Hyundai says.

Seatbelts to match the fabric are sourced from Harveys Original Seatbeltbags, which makes handbags out of seatbelts and has created two matching handbags for the Nuvis.

Parent Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.’s global flagship sedan, the Equus, also is on display at the show. The U.S. sales arm says it is studying bringing the car here. However, South Korean management has decided the car will indeed come to the U.S., sources recently told Ward’s.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com