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First Look: Hyundai Curb Concept

Small crossover could make sense as a production vehicle if fuel prices continue to rise.

by on Jan.10, 2011

The Hyundai Curb Concept isn't production ready, but with a few detail changes, it could see production in the future.

Hyundai must be serious about improving the fuel economy of its fleet. How else to describe the wave of small cars that are on the horizon for the Korean automaker? There’s the Veloster hatchback, which was introduced at the 2011 Detroit auto show, and Hyundai has confirmed a five-door Accent for the U.S. market. And now, there’s the Curb Concept, which, like the Veloster, was unveiled in Detroit.

The Curb isn’t a production-ready car — it sports future tech that isn’t quite ready for prime time. But it’s not a pie-in-the-sky concept, either. It’s not hard to envision this small crossover making it into production with toned-down styling and more-conventional technology.

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Speaking of styling, the Curb is an exercise in the company’s “fluidic sculpture” theme, and the end result is a slightly boxy theme with plenty of softened and rounded edges. It’s probably a little too out there for mainstream tastes, but with some adjustments, it would be a good vehicle for fighting the Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, and Scion xB.

One of the more interesting design features is the windshield — the glass wraps around the A-pillar. This design element is a nod to motorcycle helmets, but it also should improve forward visibility.


First Look: Hyundai Curb Concept

“Urban Activity Vehicle” to debut in Detroit.

by on Jan.06, 2011

Hyundai's Curb concept is an "Urban Activity Vehicle" for Gen-y, the maker says.

Hyundai is hoping the new concept it plans to debut at the Detroit Auto Show, next week, will have serious curb appeal.  Make that Curb appeal, the name of the Hyundai Curb show car.

The maker suggests the prototype tests the waters for a compact Urban Activity Vehicle aimed at Generation Y buyers “living an urban lifestyle with an active nightlife.”

Translation: it’s small on the outside but reasonably roomy inside – and delivers the sort of advanced electronic systems that younger buyers seem unable to live without.  That includes the all-new Hyundai Blue Link, the advanced infotainment system that the maker is introducing, this week, at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

Blue Link delivers a familiar mix of safety and security features, including automatic emergency response, which can call for help in the event of a collision.  But it also links a motorist to the Internet and other services more commonly found on today’s newest smartphones.

Add the booming audio system and it all comes together through a positively massive 12-inch color navigation screen.  And critical information is also presented to the driver through a Heads-Up Display, or HUD.