28 January 2013

Hyundai's HCD-14 Genesis Concept hints of things to come

Words by Leo Lim | Photos courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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Hyundai came up with the Genesis sedan back in 2007 as a way to show the world that they're now all grown up and ready to take on the big boys. Although the Korean premium sports sedan didn't sell that well in the Philippines, its Coupe version did. And at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai released the HCD-14 Genesis Concept as a showcase of things to come.
We believe that this new iteration from Hyundai will become the base for next production Genesis, and like before, will be powered by the rear wheels. It's drawn with a very long bonnet and sloped rear deck to make this four-door sedan more coupe-like just like what BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi did with the 6 Series Gran Coupe, CLS, and A7. We're just not counting on the suicide doors to ever hit production.
The HCD-14 Concept also sits real close to the ground on a set of 19-inch rims for that extra flair. The flat nose, beady eyes, and multi-level grill, on the other hand, looks to have been borrowed from the dark side of the force.
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It's no surprise that the interior of this luxury sedan is well-endowed with wood trimmings, leather upholstery, and carbon fiber. But do care to notice the absence of a traditional center stack that's littered with knobs, screens, and buttons. In its place, Hyundai developed a driver eye-tracking and hand gesture recognition system that manipulates all the controls like characters do in sci-fi movies. This state-of-the-art feature is supposed to keep the driver's eye on the road and make the dashboard less cluttered.
Powering this concept is a 5.0L “Tau” GDi V8 from the current Genesis sedan that serves up 429 horsepower and 510 Nm of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters has been adopted as well. With such credentials, its good enough to knock on M and AMG territory. But what's really interesting about the HCD-14 Concept is that it uses optical recognition to identify the driver and start the engine. That should spell the end for unauthorized joyrides and gaudy colored contact lenses.
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As it will eventually share its platform with the next generation Genesis Coupe, it hints of what the HCD-14 Genesis Concept is capable of on track. Hyundai has already fitted the concept with an active five-link front and rear suspension and yaw-control system to improve cornering abilities. But I guess we'll just have to wait in a year or two to see how the Genesis will shape up to be when it hits production.