Car Design News looks at some of the design stories that may have gone under the radar over the past week. Read on for the latest from Jeep, Hyundai, Nissan and more..

Not that you would have missed it, but the world’s biggest non-car car show has been going on, and this year it was more car-centric than ever. There is also the Tokyo auto salon which has thrown various launches our way. Here’s what’s been going on this week away from the major headlines, and there appears to be a high-performance theme. 

Electric Jeep Wagoneer S 

Horizontal lightbars seem to be the trend of the moment, as evident with most cars on this list. First off, the Jeep has teased the launch its of first global BEV, the Wagoneer S, which will hit the US first in the Autumn before other key markets elsewhere. We only have a shadowy image of the front-end to work with for now, but there is a distinctive LED-lit seven-slot grille which sits between the headlights and the kind of bonnet creases usually associated with a muscle car. 

Full release here

Jeep Wagoneer S

The Jeep Wagoneer S BEV

 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N NPX1

Building on the considerable hype around the Ioniq 5 N shown last year, Hyundai has teased an even racier version, the Ioniq 5 N NPX1, at the Tokyo auto salon. The concept uses prototype N Performance Parts, with an eye to offering tuning components for all-electric N models down the line. It is visibly more aggressive than the standard Ioniq 5 N, with a carbon front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear spoiler and even hybrid carbon wheels. It sits lower to the ground than usual, and the cabin is treated to Alcantara and racing-style bucket seats. 

See for yourself here

Hyundai Bayon

Much less aggressive but still revamped with sportiness in mind, this B-segment SUV has been given a refresh for 2024. The most noticeable difference is at the front end, with the headlights now joined by a thin horizontal light bar to create one cohesive line. A side-by-side comparison of new and old reveals a sportier, more muscular look to the 2024 model. Interior bulbs have also been swapped for LEDs – a simple tweak that allows cabin lighting to be personalised.

Full release here.

Ford Kuga refresh

Following the launch of the new Explorer SUV and Tourneo people carrier last year, Ford of Europe has now given the Kuga a new look. As seems to be the trend, much of this comes down to exterior lighting with a meaner, squinting face created by sharp, angular ‘Dynamic Pixel’ headlights that are accented by a horizontal LED light bar. The CMF team has obviously had fun with this mid-cycle refresh, shown in an attractive metallic green with light grey side skirts and diffusers at the front and rear. Hard to miss that new Ford emblem, too.

Full release here.

Nissan Ariya Nismo 

If there is one that will grab the attention of JDM enthusiasts, it is Nismo. This time, it is the Ariya electric crossover getting the high-performance treatment although to our eyes, it all looks a little awkward. Planned for the Japanese market this Spring, it is based on the Ariya e-4ORCE and – upgraded powertrain aside – employs aerodynamic devices on the exterior to improve downforce. Not something for the purists perhaps, but another example of EVs being designed around more than range and charging speed and likely better viewed in the metal. 

Full release here.

Turkey enters the chat

An unfamiliar name joined household names at CES as Togg, a five-way joint venture between Turkish manufacturers, showed the T10F electric sedan. It is the brand’s second car since launching operations in 2018; subsequent models have been teased for between 2026 and 2030. The fastback sedan appeared in Las Vegas with huge boomerang-shaped LED fog lights, a panoramic roof and pleasant sage green paint. There is a whiff of the Polestar 2 about it, but this is no bad thing. 

Mullen Five RS

This is one sporty crossover. Mullen’s marketeers say its proportions “speak the language of dominance” with a “commanding wide stance” and it is hard to argue with that. We saw the Mullen Five a few years ago – you can read that deep dive here. Mullen design is led by former General Motors and Hyundai designer Andre Hudson. 

Full release here

VinFast goes wild

Vietnam’s VinFast has shown a pick-up concept dubbed the ‘Wild’. Super wide, super tall and super chunky, it somehow feels futuristic while also nodding to the sporty supertrucks of the noughties. The show car was put together by the brand’s Melbourne-based GoMotiv studio, and has drawn comparison to the Tesla Cybertruck in some circles, although it is far more conventional in its proportions and surfacing.

Full release here.

Vinfast Wild pickup concept

Vinfast Wild pickup concept

Detroit returns to January

Seemingly rolling over and ceding defeat to CES, the Detroit auto show moved from its slot in January to September in a bid to avoid such a clash. That decision has now been reversed, with the event organisers stating that the 2024 edition is cancelled in favour of a January 2025 return. The show will run between 10th and 20th. It is quite a surprise to say the least – many had supported the distance created between arguably two of the biggest fixtures on the calendar, not to mention skipping the balmy Michigan weather and challenging logistics of hitting both shows. A bold strategy – let’s see if it pays off for ’em. 

Detroit Motor Show

NAIAS will return in January 2025