Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Hyundai Debuts 3-Door Compact Crossover in Seoul

Hyundai Motor Co. is bending segment definitions again with the Enduro compact crossover concept debuting Thursday in Korea at the Seoul Motor Show.

The pint-sized, three-door urban rambler could preview Hyundai’s move into the growing compact crossover segment with a twist: coupelike hatchback styling.

It gets rugged outdoor rally car looks with copious SUV-style fender cladding.

The Enduro is the “perfect partner for individuals living in the modern city with energetic, athletic lifestyles,” Hyundai said in a release.

The concept tests new ground just months after Hyundai turned heads with its Santa Cruz compact urban pickup concept at the Detroit auto show. That vehicle featured a novel extendable truck bed on the body of a four-door, five-seat crossover.

Seen from the front, the Enduro looks like a sports car.

From the side, the four-seater cuts a crossover silhouette with ample ground clearance and robust dark gray garnishes.

The C-pillars get so-called air blades to reduce drag, and side skirts incorporate step bars for easier roof rack access.

To appeal to weekend warriors, designers gave the Enduro sporty flourishes, such as a steering wheel styled with the spokes and handle molding of a road bike. The trunk is packed with versatile drawer compartments for stowing sports equipment.

On the exterior, Hyundai explores the use of side- and rear-view cameras, stripping out conventional mirrors. The wingletlike side cameras extend from the roof, allowing a wider field of vision, and beam their images to an overhead cockpit display.

Hyundai equipped the Enduro with a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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