Hyundai shocked the motoring world back in 2008 by launching a rear-wheel-drive luxury car, the Genesis. Five years later and the company is still pushing the envelope. At the Detroit Auto Show this morning it just revealed its vision for the next version of this car.
Called the HCD-14 Genesis, this sleekly styled sedan is very likely the shape of things to come. John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America said the concept reveals the future design direction for the company’s upcoming premium vehicles.
Since their respective introductions, the Genesis and Equus nameplates have been doing surprisingly well, garnering a combined 9 percent market share (Genesis Coupe included). They’ve been performing better than the Hyundai brand overall, which has been on fire. Additionally, they’ve had very strong residual values as reported by ALG.
The HCD-14 is designed to build on this success. The car wears a so-called “fluidic-precision, liquid metal” design language. According to Hyundai, its gemstone-like surfaces convey quality, while the long dash-to-axle ratio, afforded by its rear-wheel-drive architecture, gives it a sporty look.
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Short front and rear overhangs, large-diameter wheels and a sleek greenhouse compliment the other design elements. Suicide – sorry, “rear-hinged” doors in today’s politically correct parlance – are a cool, retro touch.
With the HCD-14 Genesis, Hyundai didn’t stop at a striking exterior, designers followed through inside. It features a driver-centric cockpit and a center console with enough storage space to house the included Apple iPad.
Designers were also able to eliminate the traditional center stack, which normally houses audio and climate controls. Instead, this concept features eye tracking technology and 3-D gesture recognition. Basically, you look at what you want to control and then move your hand; the car responds to your gesticulations.
Ahead of its firewall the HCD-14 Genesis features Hyundai’s award-winning 5.0-liter Tau V8. The powerplant is equipped with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing on the exhaust and intake cams. Output figures have not been shared at this time but the engine delivers 429 horsepower with 376 lb-ft of torque in today’s version of the car. It’s matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Waste gasses produced by that burly two-by four under the hood are expelled through a special ceramic-lined exhaust system that was tuned for low back pressure and high-RPM power. It supposedly delvers a deep baritone sound.
While many of the HDC-14 Genesis’ components are already in production, a lot of them are far from market-ready. This concept is a good look into Hyundai’s crystal ball, so don’t expect to be able to purchase one at your local dealership anytime soon.
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