Hyundai's rakish HCD-14 concept heralds next design phase
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DETROIT -- Hyundai showed the future direction of its rear-drive premium car designs with its HCD-14 Genesis concept today at the Detroit auto show.
Hyundai says its HCD-14 Genesis concept heralds the next phase of design for the brand's premium rear-drive vehicles.
The rakish concept, created by Hyundai's California design team, is a bold departure from the current production car's staid looks.
The concept's fastback roofline tapers to a point at the end of the rear deck lid. Shoulder creases flare beneath the A-pillar before smoothing-out to become almost flush at the car's haunches before reaching the car's rear.
"We instilled the HCD-14 Genesis with a premium-sport four-door coupe road presence," Christopher Chapman, Hyundai's U.S. design boss, said in a statement.
Sources say the next-generation Genesis, expected to go on sale as early as late 2013, will adopt much of the concept's overall look, including the fastback roofline and cab-rearward proportions.
Hyundai says it also will focus more on driving dynamics and in-car technology in its next-generation premium vehicles.
The cockpit is devoid of the traditional center stack filled with knobs and buttons. Climate control, infotainment, and other systems are operated by eye-tracking and gesture recognition technologies.
Hyundai says a driver can select a function -- say, the radio -- by looking at an icon projected on a heads-up display before activating it by gesturing, while the driver keeps its eyes forward and on the road.
Genesis sales have grown every year since the sedan's 2008 debut, peaking at 33,973 combined units of the sedan and coupe last year.
Unlike Honda, Toyota and Nissan, who sell their premium vehicles under separate luxury brands, Hyundai's upscale products share showroom space with its mainstream vehicles.
"We've departed from industry convention in many of our premium product, marketing, sales and service approaches, and it's worked out pretty well," said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "The 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."
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