If you’ve been a user of this big, lovely, stupid network of computers and internet-connected nannycams that we call “the web” chances are that you have encountered a particular and strange ad. The ad, which I’ve helpfully shown you above, is of a Hyundai Ioniq 5, with its tailgate open, but it’s not open in the sense that any Ionic 5 ever made can open its hatch; it’s slid onto the roof, in a strange but not unappealing way. So what the hell is going on here? Is this just some devious yet stupid way for the advertiser to get you to click on their ad? Probably. But, strangely for ads on the internet, there’s also a bit of real-world truth behind it all. I’ll explain.
Now, we all know that a Ionic 5’s hatch opens like a normal hatch, like this:
No surprises there. That’s how hatchbacks work! But this little ad clearly shows something very different:
In this, the hatch appears to slide up onto the roof, via the roof rails. While this method does appear to slightly limit the vertical size of the opening, it does make the hatch easier to open in low-height situations like parking decks, and I suppose would make driving with the hatch open, if you were carrying something bulky, easier, with no bouncing hatch or risk of whacking it into something or having to awkwardly tie it down.
Really, for what is likely a quick photoshop hack, it’s not the worst idea, and that’s where the interesting part comes in, because it seems Hyundai/Kia thought so, too, at least enough to take a patent out on this very idea. Somehow, this patent, from almost exactly one year ago, seems to have been first found by the patent sleuths over at the New Nissan Z forum, of all places; I was just searching for “hyundai sliding tailgates” when I found their link! Anyway, look at this:
See that? It’s a tailgate that slides up onto the roof rails, pretty much just like what that photo shows! The car shown in these diagrams is the simplest of schematic sketches, but I suppose it could be an Ioniq 5.
According to the abstract, this seems to be a powered unit, which is good, because I bet that thing is pretty heavy, and it looks like it swings up in a conventional arc for a more vertical tailgate, then rolls forward, or moves in a more continuous arc for more rounded or sloped rear ends.
Now, I have no idea if the people making that little programmatically-populated ad had any idea of this, if it was a deliberate choice meant to suggest some possible future where Hyundai/Kia implements sliding tailgates, but if they were not aware, it’s a pretty strange coincidence.
I guess it worked, as the ad did catch my attention, though to be fair – or maybe in this case, unfair – I haven’t actually clicked on the ad. Oh well. I wasn’t going to buy a car, anyway.
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