2011 Detroit Show: Hyundai's Curb Small Crossover Concept

Sharing the spotlight with the Veloster coupe at Hyundai's Detroit motorshow stand is the Curb, a conceptual study for a small crossover model positioned under the Tucson. Labeled by Hyundai as a compact Urban Activity Vehicle (UAV), the Curb is aimed at young city dwellers.

Penned by the designers at Hyundai's California studio, the Curb's styling is said to have evolved from the firm's “Fluidic Sculpture” design language seen on the latest Sonata and Elantra.

“We wanted the Curb to be urban tough without looking like a Brink's truck,” said Jason Brown, Hyundai designer. City driving was going to be its forte, not crossing the Rubicon trail, but we wanted it to have urban armor for daily driving on city streets. It needed to empower its passengers in this setting.”

Another Hyundai designer, Arash Badeanlou boldly stated “The world has never seen lines like this on a car before," adding "it is as if the architect Santiago Calatrava inspired it.”

The Curb, which is the seventh vehicle (hence the HCD-12 codename) to be designed at the company’s California Design Center, is motivated by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct injection tech, mated to Hyundai's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) [wonder what the VW Group has to say about the abbreviation...]. The force-fed motor develops 175 horsepower and 169 lb. ft. of torque. Hyundai said that by adding Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology, the Curb would deliver 30+ mpg in the city and 40+ mpg on the highway.