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Hyundai promises walking, climbing 'car' concept for CES 2019

Depending on its gait, it'll either look really neat or really terrifying.

It's like an AT-AT from the Star Wars universe, but with wheels instead of more traditional feet.

Just when you think you've seen everything concept cars have to offer, Hyundai wipes the slate clean with something that could be either really neat, or really creepy.

Hyundai will bring a new concept vehicle to CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Making its debut at Hyundai's press conference on Jan. 7, the Hyundai Elevate concept isn't just a car -- it's a car that can, according to Hyundai, both walk and climb in addition to driving.

Judging by the picture Hyundai sent with its release, the Elevate concept achieves this by adding a range of motion to the vehicle's "legs," on which rest its wheels. That should give it nigh unparalleled levels of articulation on rocky terrain. And, depending on how that motion looks to the human eye, it'll either look pretty awesome or super creepy (like oh so many Boston Dynamics robots). You'd be happy to see one of them arrive when you're trapped in rubble, but perhaps less happy if one meanders towards you decked out in military livery and carrying live ammunition.

Obviously, this is a pretty pie-in-the-sky concept, so it's likely that Hyundai won't have a full-scale working model on display at CES. Nevertheless, it's yet another interesting way that an automaker came up with to give vehicles even more capability than they already have. We'll check out Hyundai's Elevate concept up close at CES next week.