Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept Bows in Detroit

Concepts

Korean automaker forges a new design direction with this striking preview of the next-generation Genesis sedan.

There's no question left at this point that Hyundai has given its Japanese and German rivals a run for their money with the current Genesis sedan. But to give us a heads-up on where it intends to take the bargain-priced luxury sedan with its replacement, the Korean automaker is showcasing the HCD-14 Genesis Concept at the Detroit Auto Show this week. While the current Genesis sits firmly in the luxury sedan segment, the HCD-14 is a sportier- looking, more dynamically-styled four-door coupe.

The design previews the new styling direction envisioned by Peter Schreyer, who was recently named president in charge of design at Hyundai-Kia. It's a bold statement, to be sure, combining glitzy details with very simple forms. The concept features suicide rear doors that open in tandem with the front ones to allow for pillarless, unencumbered ingress and egress to and from the organically-shaped cabin that looks like it could belong in a space ship from outer space that had been decorated by hobbits. The interior also boasts cutting-edge driver-assistance technologies that track the driver's eyes and gestures to enhance focus on the road.

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The technology looks to further help Hyundai in its campaign to take the big luxury players like Lexus and BMW. Propulsion is handled by the same 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 from the Genesis and Equus, mated to an eight-speed automatic. The Tau engine is one of Hyundai's strengths, so there was no need to change that bit. Don't expect some of the showier bits - those suicide rear doors, for example - to make it to the production version, but Schreyer and company are apparently keen to take Hyundai and its staid luxury sedans in an exciting new direction.

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