- Concept focuses on design and technology
- Styling previews future Hyundai premium models
- Driver controls include eye-tracking and gesture recognition technologies
Upon revealing the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai is keen to point out that its premium models - the Genesis Coupe and sedan and the luxurious Equus - are strong sellers with better-than-average resale value. In fact, while the Hyundai brand lacks the long history of some of its premium European competitors, the automaker continues to increase sales of its top-tier products.
Of course, in the automotive world, resting on one's laurels is not an option. So the HCD-14 Genesis Concept uncovers both the future styling direction and cutting-edge technologies that may soon find their way to next-generation premium Hyundai models.
Both inside and out, the HCD-14 Genesis is futuristic in appearance, considerably more daring and sporty than the current Genesis sedan. While the styling of the current model lineup follows what Hyundai calls a "fluidic sculpture" design language, the concept uses a similar but updated aesthetic called "fluidic precision." The HCD-14 is more coupe-like in profile, with fewer swooping curves in the bodywork and more sharp lines and angles. Like the opulent Rolls Royce Phantom, the HCD-14 features rear-hinged rear doors and lacks a so-called B-pillar between the front and rear doors.
The HCD-14 Genesis's slightly more linear and angular exterior, however, does not carry over to the interior. Instead, a swoopy, wave-like theme dominates, anchored by a buttress that transitions from dash to center console in place of the traditional center stack. The elimination of the center stack controls is achieved thanks to technology, namely eye-tracking and gesture recognition that allow the HCD-14 Genesis dispose of the traditional array of driving and comfort controls. The advanced interface not only allows designers to maintain an uncluttered look; Hyundai says its technology will also provide added safety by allowing the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road with the help of a head-up display projected onto the windshield.
The HCD-14 Genesis is powered by the 5.0-literTau V8 currently offered in the Genesis R-Spec sedan. Hyundai says that a stiff chassis with extensive high-tensile steel, a sophisticated five-link front and rear suspension, a multi-mode electric-assist power steering system and a yaw-control program result in superior driving dynamics.
For now, HCD-14 is just a concept. But while some concepts are simply exercises in design, others eventually make it to production. If the next-generation Genesis sedan resembles the HCD-14 Concept, it may be the model that allows Hyundai to continue its shift toward a more upscale lineup.
What it means to you: In recent years, Hyundai has transformed its lineup with premium models like the Genesis and Equus. But upscale buyers want the latest designs and the newest technology, so luxury automakers must keep pace. The HCD-14 Genesis Concept previews Hyundai's next-generation premium sedan.
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