Hyundai Motor has unveiled its latest car - a gravity-powered 'Soapbox Ride' which is made out of wood and requires assembly. In August, the company had revealed the first glimpse of its non-motorized vehicle for downhill road racing.
The vehicle features a gently-sloping silhouette at a 45-degree angle. Its exposed wheels and a low-lying frame give it a dynamic character. One can easily make out long, straight lines stretching at an angle across the car’s body – a look shared with Hyundai's 45 concept car.
The car was created by Hyundai engineers as a fun project which families or friends can build together. The Soapbox is made out of wood, metal rods, and connecting materials such as brackets and screws. It has joysticks for steering and a simple mechanism for braking. The vehicle is made primarily from environmentally-friendly materials.
Though a downhill racer, this gravity-powered vehicle was designed just like a regular car. First, a team of engineers built the chassis. Then, a team of designers sketched ideas, first on paper and then as 3D computer models. They came up with different designs, chose one, and started building. Lastly, another team worked on colour and trim. “When designing the Hyundai Soapbox, it was important for us to ensure feasibility," says Eduardo Ramirez, Head of Exterior Design Team at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center.
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Though the soapbox is built for the size of a child, due to clever engineering, it can also carry an adult’s weight. When fully assembled, the vehicle is 1 meter wide and 1,76m long. Hyundai says it was important that the soapbox could fit into a regular passenger car so that families could transport it to different locations as they look for hills to roll it down.
Hyundai has yet not revealed the pricing of the Soapbox Ride.