Curb Concept at Johannesburg International Motor Shop a showcase for Hyundai’s innovation
The term “urban crossover” is perhaps the best to describe the category where Hyundai’s Curb concept car could slot in, but this innovative futuristic vehicle is more than that: It is a fresh approach to establish a vehicle with appeal for the next generation of Hyundai buyers and a test bed for future Hyundai Blue Link™ and vehicle connectivity technology.
Visitors to Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s stand at the Johannesburg International Motor Show at Nasrec can view the Curb, and share the vision of how Hyundai might approach the design and innovative use of technology in a future generation of production cars.
California Design Center and Hyundai Motor America presented the world debut of the Hyundai Curb concept vehicle at the Detroit International Auto Show in 2011.
Highlights of the Curb concept
Compact UAV for Generation Y living an urban lifestyle with an active night life
“Tough Tech” design – high-tech interior, rugged exterior
Advanced Hyundai Blue Link and vehicle connectivity technology via touch sensors and screens; continental 12-inch display; continental reflective Heads Up Display (HUD)
Big cargo-hauling capability
Pop-up roof rack and pull-out bike rack
1,6 litre Gamma engine
Curb is the twelfth signature concept vehicle (HCD-12) to be designed at the company’s California Design Center in Irvine, California.
Potholes and nightclubs
The 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.
“We wanted the Curb to be urban tough without looking like a Brink’s truck,” says Jason Brown, Hyundai designer. “City driving was going to be its forte, not crossing the Rubicon trail, but we wanted it to have urban armour for daily driving on city streets. It needed to empower its passengers in this setting.”
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 truss frame structure going up the pillars helps increase greater visibility in dense urban environments,” said John Krsteski, Curb design manager.
The striking profile is dominated by a boomerang trajectory bodyside line. This dominant line brings the entire design together and reinforces the feeling of strength with its positive and negative shapes. “The world has never seen lines like this on a car before. It is as if the architect Santiago Calatrava inspired it,” says Arash Badeanlou, Hyundai designer.
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 a 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 perfect 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.
At startup, the Curb’s numerous LED lights illuminate sequentially, starting with the outside rows and the Curb’s badging illuminates through the paint. Shamze Custom Coatings developed the One-Way paint finish allowing the Curb name to illuminate through the paint.
Connectivity is the theme for the interior, which is why information flows seamlessly from outside to inside of the Curb. “The goal was to make sure passengers felt connected to each other and the urban environment around them,” says Bradley Arnold, Curb interior designer. “We wanted to empower the passengers with information and make them feel that the exterior was connected to the interior.”
A large acrylic screen with multiple zones allows information to be passed between passengers all via a touchscreen that appears endless. It flows like a river from the gauge cluster to the center stack controls, across the instrument panel and all the way into back seat. The steering wheel itself is an opaque surface with a monitor showing through. There are also monitors in the back of the headrests.
A Heads Up Display (HUD) provided by Continental with navigation keeps the drivers eyes on the road, while passengers search for their favorite channel on Pandora. Drivers are able to navigate their music via a 3-D carousel of album cover art as well as view the related cover art for a currently playing track. Cameras also replace the side mirrors and are linked to the HUD. The screen can also display vehicle diagnostics, download apps and act as a video phone all with a single touch sensor control strip provided by Methode.
To bring the outside look inside, the Curb designers had the rocker panels flow into the interior of the vehicle to create a seamless design. The Curb links its interior and exterior designs together by having the rocker panels viewable from the exterior flow into the interior. The three-holed open truss structured A-pillars enhance the driver’s cornering visibility, structurally support the roof and are made from a single milled piece. This metal structure connects everything together.
Saffron accents inside match the ones on the tires. The saffron accents appear as a gradient pattern on the seats, which are made of super-stretch, fast drying board short material. The rear seat also has forward and aft movement.
When it comes to storage capacity, Curb has rear headrests mounted to its robust frame, rather than to the seats. These headrests swivel up into the roof, allowing the rear seats to fold flat.
Hyundai Blue Link technology
Generation Y wants to be connected to their electronics at all times. Inside the Curb, a driver could be listening to their favorite station on Pandora, cruising the city and get a phone call from a friend. Using Blue Link, the caller’s location shows up as a Point of Interest (POI). The friend tells the driver that he just discovered a great band playing at a local club and invites him to come. His location then becomes the destination for the turn-by-turn directions.
The Blue Link Location Sharing feature will send Curb’s location to select members of social networking sites. The process starts by adding friend’s email addresses to the Blue Link Location Sharing website. The driver can then let his or her friends know they are in route by sending a Location Sharing message from inside Curb. If a friend has accepted the owner’s invitation to Location Sharing, then that location will show up as a point of interest on the navigation screen.
BLUE LINK FEATURES INCORPORATED INTO CURB CONCEPT
Blue Link Assurance
Automatic Crash Notification and Assistance
SOS Emergency Assistance
Enhanced Roadside Assistance
Blue Link Essentials
Remote Door Unlock / Lock
Remote Horn & Lights
Voice Text Messaging
Vehicle Self Diagnostics:
Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification
Monthly Vehicle Report
Web Vehicle Diagnostics
Stolen Vehicle Recovery
Stolen Vehicle Slowdown
Blue Link Guidance
POI Search by advanced voice recognition system
POI Web Search & Download
Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition
Gas Station Locations & Gas Prices
1.6 litre Gamma engine
The Curb is powered by a turbocharged 1,6 litre Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine mated to Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). This powertrain develops 130 kW and 230 Nm of torque. By adding Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology, the Curb would deliver 7,8 litres/100 km in the city and 5,88 litres/100 km on the highway.