Mike Stevens | Jan 11, 2011

Hyundai wants you to know a few things: it's got a new vision, a new direction and a new brand statement.

To make its point, Hyundai has used this week's Detroit Motor Show to unveil its all-new production-ready Veloster sports hatch (click), and its latest concept: the Curb crossover.

Presenting the company's new slogan at Detroit this week - "New Thinking, New Possibilities" - Vice Chairman Euisun Chung revealed Hyundai's new product philosophy, dubbed simply "Modern Premium." Its purpose is to push the brand's position as a value-for-money option for savvy buyers.

"Today, customers do not believe that expensive cars with unnecessary technology are premium," Mr Chung said.

"Instead, they want their core needs fulfilled at an accessible price and with a car that exceeds their expectations; a car that reflects their values and the times in which they live."

Taking a swipe at the likes of Volkswagen and Toyota as they move to battle for the title of highest-selling carmaker in the world, Chung added that Hyundai's goal is not to be the biggest, but to become "the most-loved car company and a trusted lifetime partner of our owners."

Through the its new slogan and development philosophy, Hyundai aims to offer high-end, high-quality products without the upper-class price tag - an approach that Hyundai means to embrace not only with its vehicles, but also through its servicing and maintenance regime.

With the Curb concept, designed at Hyundai's California studio, the Korean carmaker has taken its 'Fluidic Sculpture' styling language to a new level, offering hints at what we can expect from the company's future line-up.

"We wanted the Curb to be urban tough without looking like a Brink's truck," Jason Brown, the Curb's designer said.

"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."

Of course, with the i45 and the ix35 only recently launched - and the Elantra replacement just around the corner - it will be sometime before this new styling finds its way to a production model.

The Curb is powered by Hyundai's 1.6 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine, sending 130kW and and 220Nm of torque through Hyundai's first-ever dual-clutch transmission - also featured in the new Veloster.


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