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Hyundai received the 2013 “Concept Car of the Year” award for the HCD-14 Genesis Concept. The vehicle was also awarded the “Most Significant Concept Vehicle of the Year” title for scoring the highest among the category winning concepts. HCD-14 debuted Hyundai’s design direction for future premium vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year.
The twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. This marks the second time Hyundai has received an award, having been named “Production Preview Concept Vehicle of the Year” in 2008 for the Genesis Coupe.
According to juror Bob Kroupa, one of the Principals of the Automotive Writers Group, “Hyundai’s HCD-14 introduces future premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls and spirited driving dynamics. Its rear hinged back doors and fastback coupe design, add to the WOW factor.”
The “Concept Car” category recognizes those vehicles intended for carrying passengers. HCD-14 beat out competitors in this category including the Honda EV-STER and Toyota Corolla Furia. The Hyundai concept was recognized for its state-of-the-art features and enhanced driver experience. HCD-14 Genesis reveals the technological future of Hyundai’s premium line-up with driver eye-tracking and hand-gesture recognition, thumb controls or gesture recognition used to select navigation, infotainment, audio, HVAC, and smartphone connectivity functions.
“Hyundai’s California Design Center has been turning out some impressive work, and I think the HCD-14 is one of their best,” said Chris Poole, juror and Editor-at-Large for Chicago-based Consumer Guide Auto. “The ultra-clean coupe-like styling has both flair and presence, and I like the grille; it reminds me of certain early Ferraris. The interior is wild, but I applaud the lack of a center stack—provided Hyundai has figured out new controls that are at least as user-friendly. If the next production Genesis is anything like this stunner, I say, bring it on!”
More than two dozen jurors participated in a selection process that involved a total of 23 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season’s auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and New York.
“It’s exciting to see the overwhelming positive response and feedback we have received for the HCD-14 Genesis Concept,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design, North American Design Center. “HCD-14 Genesis provides a glimpse of Hyundai’s future and showcases the emphasis we are placing on driving dynamics and technology. Winning the ‘Concept Car of the Year’ validates our design intuition as we take our premium line-up to the next level of sophistication in styling and technological prowess.”
HCD-14 Genesis conveys a fluidic-precision, liquid-metal design language. Craftsmanship quality is conveyed via gemstone-like design surfaces. A bold front fascia surrounds brushed metal grille surfaces with a deep vertical grille opening. The corners of the rear hood incorporate heat extractor design accents that integrate seamlessly with exterior mirror design. From the side view silhouette, classic rear-drive sport sedan proportions are conveyed by an extended dash-to-axle length, short overhangs, large-diameter wheels, sharply-tapered greenhouse, and short rear deck. Large wheels were developed from a mix of premium lightweight alloys with carbon fiber surrounding the voided areas of the wheel design.
“We instilled HCD-14 Genesis with a premium-sport 4-door coupe road presence,” said Christopher Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “Its sleek and lightweight silhouette does not punish the wind, but uses fluidic precision with dramatic surfacing that conveys natural restraint. Inside, a driver-centric cockpit prioritizes dramatic sculpture over infotainment button overload. Laminated and milled-wood detailing delivers a fresh, topographical map-like visual interest throughout the cabin-length center console.”
Opening the rear door reveals a rear-hinged configuration, with a single, oversized, brushed-aluminum hinge articulating diagonally from the rear door cutline. With both doors open, HCD-14 Genesis has an inviting and commodious cabin ambience. Inside the cabin, a double-cresting-wave center console design carries from the instrument panel through to the rear seats. This design-wave theme further influences the interior door handles and rear headrest hoods. Gauges and driver data are provided via an eclectic fusion of both analog and digital sources, with aviation-derived design cues. The driver-focused cockpit offers an asymmetrical center stack, with critical driving functions separated from passenger comfort functions. The center console even includes an iPad® tablet storage station, keeping it secure in spirited driving.
While the HCD-14 Genesis exterior design makes a statement all its own, the driver’s environment is where its technological innovation breaks new ground. Ergonomics engineers eliminated the traditional center stack, developing an intuitive driver interface system that allows the HCD-14 driver to better keep his eyes on the road. Freed from traditional design restrictions, designers created a controls layout devoid of intimidating clusters of buttons and knobs. Using state-of-the-art driver eye-tracking and 3-D hand-gesture recognition, HCD-14 Genesis is able to recognize driver commands free from the distractions associated with manual controls. Once a specific feature is selected via eye-tracking, thumb controls or gesture recognition can be used to select navigation, infotainment, audio, HVAC, and even smartphone connectivity functions. This intuitive interface provides the driver with complete control while keeping his eyes safely above the cowl plane, using a windshield heads-up display (HUD) for minimal driving distraction. This proprietary interface represents Hyundai’s vision for future vehicle HMI and sets a new benchmark in active driver safety technology.
HCD-14’s innovative eye-tracking and gesture-based controls reduce typical driving distractions, resulting in a more focused driver able to better appreciate the day-to-day satisfaction of exceptional vehicle dynamics. To this end, HCD-14 Genesis vehicle dynamics take the driver to a new level of involvement, focus, and control. An ultra-rigid chassis with strategic use of high-tensile steel provides a vault-like platform for the rear-drive powertrain configuration. Sophisticated five-link front and rear suspension reduces suspension-travel changes to camber and toe for consistent grip out of bends. A multi-mode power steering system retains road feel and feedback advantages while yielding the efficiency benefits of an electronic system. Low-profile performance tires yield outstanding turn-in response, mid-corner grip, and road feel. A sophisticated yaw-control system provides multiple driver-selected options for changing road conditions and driving preferences. Such an advanced complement of tarmac-gripping technologies requires an equally-impressive powertrain to be fully exploited, and the Hyundai-developed Tau® V8 engine is more than up to the task.
The HCD-14 Genesis powertrain features the award-winning Hyundai Tau® V8 engine, displacing 5.0-liters, with direct injection and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), for impressive power, low emissions and superb efficiency. HCD-14 Genesis uses optical recognition to identify the driver and initiate the starting sequence, while gear selection for the 8-speed automatic transmission is performed via paddle shifters. HCD-14 Genesis exhaust is ceramic-lined and was tuned for minimal backpressure, maximum high-rpm horsepower, and a deep baritone note, with cooling fins integrated into ultra-wide exhaust tips.
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.