Along with the new Veloster coupe, Hyundai showed off a concept car at the 2011 Detroit show. It’s a compact crossover concept called Curb, as we already know from the pre-show teasers.

The Curb concept is an Urban Activity Vehicle penned by Hyundai California Design Center. Sounds strange, but “potholes” and “nightclubs” were part of this car’s big idea. Apparently, Hyundai designers wanted to create a vehicle loaded with tech that was “at home in an urban environment with potholes and densely packed nightclubs on the streets”. Do you have a movie set in your mind now?

Anyway, because of the potholes, a rugged car was needed to protect Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity features against impact and shock. This “technology rugged” design direction formed the Curb.

Don’t understand? Neither do we, that’s why we’re not auto designers! “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,” said designer Jason Brown.

The wrapraround glasshouse takes after the visor of a sport bike helmet, and the profile is dominated by a boomerang trajectory line. The thin, sleek headlamps and taillamps dive into the vehicle, creating the illusion that they are connected into the engine compartment or interior, Hyundai adds. The ‘technology rugged’ look is completed by 22-inch five spoke wheels and Michelin rubber with saffron colored tread pattern.

Inside, a large acrylic screen with multiple zones allows information to be passed between passengers. The steering wheel itself is an opaque surface with a monitor showing through. There are also monitors in the back of the headrests and Heads Up Display (HUD). Music is selected via a 3D carousel of album cover art.

Wild, yes. But we can imagine a Nissan Juke competitor out of this, minus the sci-fi dashboard of course. Gallery after the jump.

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