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Detroit show: Hyundai Curbs its enthusiasm

Mystery wagon: Hyundai is set to spring this crossover concept, the Curb, at Detroit on Monday.

Sporty crossover Curb concept set to join new Veloster on Hyundai’s Detroit stand

Hyundai logo7 Jan 2011

By RON HAMMERTON

HYUNDAI’S new Veloster sports hatch will be joined on the Detroit motor show stand next week by a chunky compact SUV concept dubbed the HDC-12 Curb.

Designed at the Korean company’s Californian design studio, the Curb is unlikely to make it into production in current form, but might foreshadow a new baby crossover vehicle.

Two teaser images of the vehicle were released today by Hyundai, with one showing a side view revealing a high-riding three-door hatchback with the company’s trademark fluidic design cues such as a deeply scalloped door skin.

The other image shows a futuristic interior dominated by thin-backed seats sheathed in white material and door linings in bright yellow, confirming that the designers were given freedom to experiment.

Apart from stating that the Curb was designed in the Hyundai California Design Centre – hence the HDC reference in the full title – no other details were provided.

Hyundai was similarly silent about a fresh teaser image of its Veloster sports machine, which is much closer to production.

The image appears to reveal an unsual door arrangement, with one door on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side.

1 center imageFrom top: Hyundai HDC-12 Curb interior and Hyundai Veloster teaser shots.

The design is expected to provide easy everyday access for the driver while also giving occasional passengers access to the 2+2 rear seat without resorting to folding the front passenger seat forward.

The question is: will Hyundai reverse the system for right-hand-drive markets such as Australia?To do so would require costly tooling up for two separate body designs, but essential for safety and practicality.

Rumours suggest the four-seat two-door Veloster will boast frugal 5.9-litre per 100km fuel efficiency from its four-cylinder engine that is expected to be shared with the new Hyundai Accent.

The 1.6-litre direct-injection GDI four-cylinder petrol engine is said to deliver 105kW.

As GoAuto has reported, the Veloster is due on sale here in the final quarter of 2011, just one of four new Hyundais set for release in Australia this year.

These others include the next-generation MD-series i35 (Elantra) sedan in the second quarter, the i25 (Accent/Verna) sedan in the third quarter and the VF-series i40 wagon in the final quarter.

In 2011, Hyundai is also expected to reveal replacements for its giant-killing i30 small hatch and mid-size Santa Fe crossover.

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