Lamborghini Murcielago’s Designer to Pen Hyundai’s ‘Exotic’ Halo Car

The Luc Donckerwolke designed Murcielago has aged like a fine wine. He’s now in charge of design direction for Hyundai’s flagship model.

byJames Gilboy|
Hyundai News photo

Hyundai announced Monday that its design center's executive vice president Luc Donckerwolke will replace Peter Schreyer as chief design officer for Hyundai. This will give Donckerwolke creative control of the design direction of the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands.

Donckerwolke—designer of the Lamborghini Murcielago—will be at the helm for design of Hyundai's "exotic" sports car project, whose existence was reportedly confirmed by Thomas Schemera to a Dutch publication Thursday. 

"Behind the scenes, we are working hard on a 'halo model'—as a flagship model for the N brand," Schemera said in an interview with AutoRAI. "This is going to be a great machine, something nobody expects from Hyundai, something really exotic."

Donckerwolke himself confirmed the car in January, when Yang Woong Chul, Hyundai's vice president of research and development, stated that the unnamed supercar will be primarily propelled by electricity, though it will still have an onboard internal combustion engine. Schemera was unsure whether the vehicle would be a limited-run product or not.

"Whether it will be a limited edition or not, we can unfortunately neither confirm nor deny. In any case, it will be a car in the super sports segment. Think of the Hyundai RM16 and you have a bit of an idea of what is possible," concluded Schemera.

Hyundai's RM16 N was a Veloster-based, mid-engined sports hatchback showcased in 2016, related closely to the RN30 concept (seen above). Sightings of roughly Veloster-shaped test mules with mid-mounted engines have continued through 2018; one such vehicle was filmed testing at the Nürburgring in June.

How much a mid-engined Veloster or similar model and Hyundai's unnamed supercar have in common is uncertain. Given Hyundai's confirmation that the car will be an N-branded model, however, we can count the Genesis Essentia (which the automaker hopes to produce) out of the equation.