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Detroit LIVE: Hyundai adds emotion with HCD-14 Genesis concept

by Andrew Ganz

Hyundai\'s Detroit show concept clearly shows where the next-generation Genesis is headed.

Hyundai is looking to take its Genesis premium sedan range in a vastly more stylish direction, the automaker revealed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The HCD-14 Genesis concept car boasts a more evocative four-door coupe-like shape than the more traditional Genesis currently on sale, and while the vehicle shown in Detroit isn't production-bound as-is, the next-generation Genesis will undoubtedly draw heavily on its themes.

Hyundai says that the HCD-14 Genesis is its latest "fluidic precision” design, a look characterized by liquid-metal-looking curves. Careful application of brushed metal trim and carbon fiber completes the style. Clearly inspired by the Audi A7, the HCD-14 is nonetheless chunkier and bulkier looking. The HCD-14 was primarily designed in California.

The HCD-14 boasts suicide-style doors - that is, back doors that are hinged at the rear. While such doors aren't likely bound for production given their relative impracticality, they do offer a better glimpse of the concept's interior. The dashboard is driver-focused, but there is no traditional center stack. Instead, the HCD-14 uses driver eye-tracking and 3D hand gesture recognition for navigation, audio and climate control functions.

Such technology again isn't likely to show up soon on a production model, but Hyundai says that eye-tracking tech is on its development radar.

Beneath the shapely body sits a rear-drive chassis, Hyundai's 5.0-liter V8 and an eight-speed automatic. Befitting its status as a more performance-oriented model, the HCD-14's exhaust was designed to have a deep baritone sound.

What to expect for the next-generation Genesis due out relatively soon? From the concept car, we can figure that the production model will be vastly more stylish than the staid current Genesis - and probably more performance-oriented as well.

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