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AUTOS : Hard to Get a Handle on First O.C.-Designed Hyundai Concept Car

November 17, 1994|John O'Dell / Times staff writer

Officials at Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley have released a sketch of their newest concept car, the HCD III, but won't say much about the prototype except to describe it as a "multipurpose vehicle."

A full-size model is scheduled to be rolled out Jan. 4 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit for inspection by the news media, other car companies and the public.

But a close look at the rendering reveals a few details about the car, including the fact that, if built, it would be the littlest Hyundai--a two-seat hardtop.

The louvered portion of the top could be a fold-up section to open the cockpit to the sun on warm days.

The handles on each side of the rear window remain a mystery--perhaps they're there for hitchhiking skateboarders or as handholds for a rumble seat concealed in the open rear end of the car.

One thing Hyundai does say about the HCD III: It is the first concept car designed and built entirely in the company's Fountain Valley studio.

Previous concept cars--a convertible and a sports coupe--were collaborations between Hyundai studios in South Korea and Orange County.

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