Hyundai HCD-12 Curb concept at Detroit

Detroit NAIAS 2011

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ON CarsGuide

The Korean carmaker is going all-out with an early trump card to play against the upcoming Toyota FT-86, which will not make the road until early in 2012, and reveals full details on the Veloster tomorrow in motown.

But it is rolling a new compact SUV concept into action alongside the Veloster in Detroit in a clear pointer to a new model to fill an obvious showroom gap below the ix35.  The concept is called the Curb - although it is also known as HCD-12 in a line of Hyundai concepts in the USA that stretches back to a compact HCD1 coupe in the early 1990s.

It is a taut design that could easily be productionised to compete with a wide range of rivals led by the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.  The Curb looks much more showroom-ready than some other recent Korean motor show teases, just as the Veloster did when it first went under lights. It could easily be fitted with a 2.0-litre engine and front- wheel drive, with an all-wheel drive upgrade, to tap the boom in compact SUV sales in many countries including Australia.

The Veloster for Detroit is the production model of a car that was first shown as a concept at the 2007 Seoul Motor Show. It has a 2.0- litre engine and front-wheel drive but Hyundai will fill in all the details - including the critical price point - on the first day of the Detroit show.