DETROIT MOTOR SHOW: Hyundai Genesis concept

words - Marton Pettendy
Hyundai HCD-14 concept to preview next-generation Genesis sedan at Detroit motor show

Hyundai has revealed the first teaser image of a concept that will preview its next-generation Genesis sedan, which is expected to become Hyundai’s new flagship in Australia next year.

Dubbed the HCD-14, the sleek four-door sedan will make its world debut at the Detroit motor show next Monday (January 14).

Hyundai has provided no details with this single side profile image, which reveals a sleek coupe-like sedan with a long wheelbase and short overhangs, saying only that it will offer “a glimpse into future Hyundai premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls, and spirited driving dynamics”.

The HCD-14 follows a long line of Hyundai concepts that date back to the HCD-1 roadster concept of 1992, which like the HCD-14 was created at the Hyundai California Design facility – hence the HCD name.

However, the last HCD show car to appear was the HCD-12 Curb Concept at the 2011 Detroit show, so the name of Hyundai’s latest concept could also represent the Korean car-maker that produced it (Hyundai), the mid-size segment in which it will be sold (C/D) and the year in which it will be released globally (2014).

Hyundai has already confirmed that a midlife makeover for the Genesis coupe will be produced in right-hand drive guise for markets including Australia by 2014, but is yet to confirm a local introduction for the accomplished Genesis sedan.

However, understands the next-generation Genesis sedan will be manufactured in both left- and right-hand drive forms for global consumption, including in Australia.

Indeed, Hyundai’s local arm, which has long denied reports it will launch Genesis as a sub-brand here, will host a number of Australian journalists at next week’s Detroit show, where it will outline its local Genesis plans.

We expect both Genesis models to become available in Australia by 2014, with the four-door positioned as Hyundai’s sedan flagship to rival large Japanese luxury cars like the Lexus GS and Infiniti M (a 2014 successor for which will be called the Q70), and even Germans such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.

Although a smaller BMW 3 Series-size Genesis model has also been rumoured, Hyundai’s current sedan flagship is the i40, which sells for between $29,990 and $44,590 – more than the larger i45 ($26,990 to $37,490).

However, we expect the US-oriented i45 to have been discontinued in Australia by the time the Genesis sedan arrives here, given the smaller, newer, Euro-centric i40 is available in both sedan and wagon body styles and with petrol and diesel engines and the latest factory-fitted infotainment technology.

Sales of the i45, which was launched here in May 2010, were down more than 25 per cent last year to 3640, while sales of the i40 (launched in October 2011) increased more than 500 per cent to 2392 and came within one sale of the i45 in December (246).

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Published : Tuesday, 8 January 2013
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