Just hours after we posted the first official images of Hyundai’s HCD-14 Genesis concept, the Korean automaker revealed extensive details about its large executive saloon study that premieres at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show.
The concept previews many of the design elements that we will see in the upcoming 2014 Genesis mid-size saloon as well as in other future Hyundai models.
Although its dominant feature is the five-bar brushed metal grille, the HCD-14 Genesis also boasts rear-hinged rear doors with a single brushed aluminum hinge articulating diagonally from the cutline making for easier passenger access to the cabin.
At the same time, the HCD-14 Genesis purports to show Hyundai’s new design philosophy for a luxury saloon – or, rather, a four-door coupe, which is the new black in the premium sector right now.
“We instilled HCD-14 Genesis with a premium-sport four-door coupe road presence”, said chief designer of Hyundai Design North America Christopher Chapman. “Its sleek and lightweight silhouette does not punish the wind but used fluidic precision with dramatic surfacing that conveys natural restraint.”
In other words, it shows a new interpretation of Hyundai’s signature “fluidic sculpture” design in a sleek, four-door coupe package that will probably ditch the three-box bodywork for a more tapered rear end.
What will also not make the cut into production is the interior, which in the concept, does away with the center console in favor of eye-tracking and 3-D hand-gesture recognition that Hyundai says, frees the driver of typical distractions associated with traditional HVAC and infotainment controls.
The concept is powered by Hyundai's existing 5.0-liter “Tau” V8 that features direct injection and dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT) mated to an eight-speed auto with paddle shifters that sends power to the rear wheels.
"We’ve departed from industry convention in many of our premium product, marketing, sales and service approaches, and it’s worked out pretty well, with Genesis and Equus now delivering a nine percent retail market share in their premium segments, higher than the five percent retail share Hyundai brand achieves in the overall industry”, said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America.
“This success paves the way for a new generation of rear-wheel drive premium products. HCD-14 Genesis gives a hint of the design direction we’ll be taking, and an indication of the focus we’re placing on driving dynamics and technology,” he added.
Krafcik has every reason to be optimistic, since 20012 was the fifth year in a row that the brand has increased its share in the premium segment in the U.S. market. Hopefully, Peter Schreyer, the newly-appointed Hyundai design chief, will take care of that grille and won’t water down the rest of the concept’s styling.
By Andrew Tsaousis