Hyundai Soapbox Is an Affordable DIY Project for Family and Friends

Having fun is one of life’s greatest gifts – you could enjoy yourself alone, or next to friends and family while sharing simple things such as a bagel. Or you could fill your time with more complicated things, such as building a Hyundai. Using nothing but affordable materials that you can easily find at the hardware store. There is a catch, obviously.
2021 Hyundai Soapbox 9 photos
Photo: Hyundai Motor Group
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And that would have to do with you and friends or family building a gravity racer – or a soapbox car, as they are more commonly referred to. The South-Korean automaker has developed its own version of the motorless vehicle designed to be enjoyed on a downhill road.

There’s no fussy name, as the Hyundai Soapbox aims to be an easy do-it-yourself project that takes inspiration from the company's 45 concept car. The model has been created by the Hyundai Europe Design Center with focus on easy assembly – the brand thinks their creation can be replicated at home by parents with children or by group of friends.

The project also involved the knowledgeable engineers from the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center (HMETC), and because it wants to offer fans, families, and friends an excuse to spend time together, the instructions for the build have been made available online.

Because we are dealing with a global automaker, even this fun project was approached with the usual seriousness, and the Hyundai Soapbox started life just like any other car from the company – engineers built the chassis, designers created the styling, and both produced a feasibility prototype that also confirmed the needed bill of materials.

Technical specifications are a bit different from standard vehicles since the Hyundai Soapbox does not include a powertrain, and instead has more to do with a hardware store shopping list: wood, metal rods, brackets, screws, barrow wheels, and screwdrivers.

When done, the Hyundai Soapbox is just 1.76 meters long by a meter wide (69 x 39 in.), so the bright yellow prototype can be transported in the back of family hauler such as the i30 Wagon. The driving duties can be handled by a child, but the team also made sure the adults can join the fun because the vehicle can support their weight as well. While the general design was inspired by the 45 prototype, Hyundai adapted the joystick use from the Prophecy concept.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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