Crazy Car Concept: Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis

By Michael Lockhart

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On the heels of five years of straight growth in Hyundai’s premium Genesis and Equus models, the company rolled out its future direction in the form of the eye-catching futuristic HCD-14 Genesis Concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

The HCD-14 initially appears to be a very large vehicle, the result of a dominant exterior shell that screams road presence. The overall result is pleasing, despite a few angles, particularly in the overly flat front fascia, that we would prefer softened. According to the company’s North American design chief Christopher Chapman, the look instills a “premium-sport four-door coupe road presence,” though we’re slightly hesitant to agree on the “sport” front.

Regardless of what category the coupe falls into, the HCD-14’s aerodynamic liquid-metal design language is stunning and gives the vehicle a powerful but sleek silhouette from the large vertical front grille, around the crystalline mirror design, the deep wheel wells containing the wider-than-normal carbon-fiber and alloy hybrid wheels out to the tapering overhang of the rear. This last reminds us of an Audi S7 and a Jaguar XJ and works surprisingly well in this design.

The HCD-14 utilizes a rear-door hinge design, most notably seen in the past decade on Mazda’s RX8 sports coupe. Inside, the fluid design continues with the center console’s double-crested wave that would be mocked if thrown alone into a vehicle but is instead complemented by the inner door handles that flow into the rear of the cabin.

Most impressive in this concept is the implementation of future technologies that will assist the driver in making the most of his or her time behind the wheel. Gone is the traditional center console stack (where your iPad will now rest securely) and in comes a design free of knobs, buttons and other dashboard clutter. Instead, a state-of-the-art eye-tracking system will be used in conjunction with 3D hand gesturing to control infotainment, HVAC, navigation or even your smartphone. Combined with a heads-up display, the HCD makes it easier than ever to get more in tune with your acceleration and the road.

The HCD-14 powertrain is composed of Hyundai’s current direct-injection 5.0-liter V8, the “Tau” engine—which should keep it fairly competitive in the segment while retaining the right balance of performance and low emissions—all controlled by progressive paddle shifters. Factor in optical recognition to ignite the engine and we’re looking at the death knell to carjackers everywhere.

We doubt we’ll see this exact vehicle in the pipeline in the next few years, but it will be exciting to watch as Hyundai continues to develop and hone these technologies and design, especially the eye-tracking and 3D motion gesturing which would both be a hit in the market.

The timeline on the current Genesis model dictates we’ll be seeing a redesign in the near future, so the question really will be what the company plans to integrate from the HCD-14. In any case, we’ll be looking forward to the day we have a Minority Report–style screen in the driver’s seat.

For more Hyundai concepts, check out www.hyundaiusa.com


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