Behind the Scenes Documentary: Hyundai Curb Concept Design Build
Hyundai California Design Center and Hyundai Motor America first revealed the Curb concept vehicle at the Detroit International Auto Show back in January 2011.
However, more recently, a video documentary that documented the entire Curb design process has gained ground on the internet. The television show originally aired around the same time as when the concept was first unveiled. In it, we see congenial presenter “MotoMan” going step-by-step with the designers, modelers and builders from concept to sketch to clay model and eventually to full size show car.
The actual inspiration for Curb came from the need to evolve Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language for younger buyers. Hyundai designers wanted to create a vehicle loaded with technology that was at home in an urban environment with potholes and densely packed nightclubs on the streets. The vehicle needed to secure the advanced Blue Link and connectivity features against impact and shock. From these ideas, the ‘technology rugged’ design direction for Curb was formed.
The Curb’s design starts with the glass that spills into the hood and wraps around the cowl, covering the A pillars. This look resembles the face shield of a sport bike motorcycle helmet. Beneath the glass are structural trusses with the glass panels applied like a shield.
The profile is dominated by a boomerang trajectory bodyside line. This dominate line brings the entire design together and reinforces the feeling of strength with its positive and negative shapes.
The thin, sleek headlamps and taillamps dive into the vehicle, creating the illusion that they are connected into the engine compartment or interior. To complete the ‘technology rugged’ look, designers added 22-inch five spoke wheels and Michelin tires with a custom saffron colored tread pattern to match the interior. These wheels have spokes set into the tires to make them have a more pronounced profile. To enter the Curb, one simply drags their finger across a touch pad to open the doors.
The exhaust vents serve a dual purpose. They pop out to reveal a bike rack so the owner could park and ride a “Fixie” (fixed gear) bike to the rest of his destinations as an alternative transportation source. The roof also features pop-up roof rack towers, demonstrating the blend of being rugged, yet high-tech. Curb has a lighted clam shell rear hatch, also opened via a touchpad for loading gear and a third rear access door for easy passenger ingress and egress.