Last week we explored the fresh and innovative appearances of the Hyundai Intrado concept SUV, HCD-9 Coupe concept and the PassoCorto sports car concept — with generous praise for the ideas and execution shown in all three.
Will that gravy train keep rolling with the new Genesis?
Unfortunately, after comparing the two side-by-side and in detail: the answer is a firm “No.”
Overall, the transition from HCD-14 to Genesis loses all of the concept’s unique surfaces, elegance, and all semblance of premium appeal.
The artful and contemporary sweeping shapes of the HCD-14 are all completely gone; replaced by yet more generic knock-offs of everything from the (previous-gen) Infiniti M35 to the (previous-gen) Lexus LS to the Chrysler 200.
The production Genesis looks like a giant Daewoo or Trumpchi or Red Flag — all cars bought for many reasons by many people. But not savvy luxury connoisseurs in Gramercy Park or Bal Harbor — or even Brentwood or La Jolla.
Perhaps Boca Raton or Scottsdale are the target zip codes?
These are initial (and very subjective) design impressions, of course, as we have not yet seen the Genesis on the roads yet.
But the appearance of the new Genesis is extremely lackluster even from afar; and arguably less-appealing than even the previous Genesis — which is not a good sign.
You can read the below report to learn a few reasons why these great ideas end up so diluted once in production, but overall, the new Genesis is not a good-looking car.
Overall ‘concept to reality’ letter grade: B-
DESIGN COMPARISON IMAGE
1. The more I analyze the HCD-14, the uglier the new Genesis gets.
— The rear pillar treatment for production totally abandons the concept ideas and adds a cheap rear quarter glass and lackluster, knockoff trim.
— The convex form language of the concept trunk area is replaced by the cheapest and nastiest looking rear three-quarter angle since … I do not even know when. The Hyundai Elantra of 1992?
— The taillight is not even the same shape, and just blobs down the trunk face versus arcing along an integrated crease atop the body form.
— All sculpted trunk panels replaced by flat stamps of rounded steel — Daewoo-style.
Sidebar: Was the Daewoo Leganza always as foul as a bucket of turds? Nope. Original concept by none other than Giorgio Giugiaro’s ItalDesign, who reworked the ideas from a previous Jaguar Kensington design on a contract basis.
Just a huge fumble in making these ideas production-possible.
2. The profile is where I started getting seriously huffy. I mean, come on Hyundai. This is a really disgraceful effort that deserves no praise whatsoever.
— Concave inner fender form replaced by cynical snip inward on the production panel, which is actually just a shapeless blob.
— Window line is not-at-all-similar, nor is the headlamp or grille placement at the leading edge of the hood on the concept, but blobbed down a few inches in reality.
— Organic form language of the door’s convex shape is simply gone, as is the crispness of the belt-line crease — replaced by more blob-tacular-ness.
3. The nose, however, is the biggest failure of all. Did the production team even look at the concept’s headlights, grille or bumpers?
This looks like someone described it to them over the phone.
— Missing anything fresh or new in headlights, leaving them embarrassingly-pathetic in 2014, and un-buy-able in 2016 or 2017.
— Lower LED chain-ring is replaced by some of the cheapest, nastiest multi-dot units — that look straight from the AutoZone private label collection.
HYUNDAI CONCEPT HCD-14
2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS — PRODUCTION DESIGN IS HUGE LETDOWN
At worst, the design of the new Genesis is a large missed opportunity to evolve the Genesis premium sedan.
SO WHAT IF IT LOOKS BAD/OLD/CHEAP/DERIVATIVE? VALUE MEANS SACRIFICES?
On the sedan side of the firm’s global mission (versus coupes of crossovers), things are looking promising as concepts — but dismal in reality.
Hyundai is already firmly established in many markets with its LWB Equus and other rear-drive limousines, including the very popular Genesis here in the states.
The HCD-14 Concept previews the future style of not only the just-revealed Genesis sedan, but also everything with a Hyundai badge and four doors as well.
Therefore, for the new Genesis sedan to be such a poor facsimile of the HCD-14 is very, very disappointing. Ideally, most of the forgiveness Hyundai fans brought to the first Genesis will not be around for this new Genesis. No longer a new segment, Hyundai should and can do better than this.
Many people would hope that the Genesis could promote its world-class design for its second generation, but it looks so bad that Hyundai is just plugging value again.
2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS — DESIGN IMPORTANCE IS FROM ITS INFLUENCE
As a relatively young car firm, Hyundai teams will look to the Genesis when they are styling everything from the next Accent to the next Equus.
This shows why concept cars are so important. Their styling will directly flow into the next generation of volume models like the Sonata Hybrid, so will have real-world applications up and down the range.
This begs the question: If the expensive-to-build Genesis cannot get a sexy design refresh, what hope is there for the cheapest models to look decent?
NOT FOR LACK OF BIG IDEAS
Typically, it is very challenging to mass-produce shapes as exotic as these in volume — which explains why many automaker’s stunning concept cars become so sallow and watered-down by the time they hit the streets.
This is certainly the case with the Hyundai Genesis, which is worryingly-unattractive versus these stunning concepts.
2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS
ALL-NEW 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS DELIVERS GENEROUS PREMIUM CONTENT FOR AN OUTSTANDING VALUE POSITION
Well-equipped Starting Price under $40,000 includes Impressive Safety and Technology Features
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 1, 2014 – During a gathering of top automotive and business media at the national drive event for the 2015 Genesis, Hyundai announced a compelling pricing package for the all-new premium sedan. Hitting showroom floors later this month, Genesis starts at $38,000 for the well-equipped 3.8L V6 and $51,500 for the 5.0L V8 model. The combination of bold design, superb driving dynamics, unmatched standard technology and attractive pricing positions Genesis as the premium sedan to beat.
“The all-new Genesis rivals the best premium sedans in the world, at a price point many thousands of dollars less,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “Our 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai and reinforces the successful strategy of marketing our premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel. As a result, we’re able to pass the benefits of this strategy directly to our valued customers.”
2015 GENESIS PRICE STRUCTURE
Model Engine Transmission MSRP 3.8L RWD 3.8L V6 8-Speed A/T w/ SHIFTRONIC® $38,000 3.8L AWD 3.8L V6 8-Speed A/T w/ SHIFTRONIC® $40,500 5.0L RWD 5.0L V8 8-Speed A/T w/ SHIFTRONIC® $51,500
Freight charges for the 2015MY Genesis are $950 and not included in the prices above.
Compared to the 2014 model, the 2015 Genesis delivers significantly more standard content. This includes an all-new interior and exterior design, 8-inch navigation with rearview camera, paddle shifters, hill hold control, power folding outside mirrors, driver knee airbag, power height adjustable passenger seat, power lumbar passenger seat, HD radio, 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display, Hyundai’s Blue Link® telematics system, SiriusXM® Travel Link®, a telescoping steering wheel, rear 1-touch up power windows and rain sensing wipers.
Genesis 3.8L RWD
Genesis 3.8L RWD has a MSRP of $38,000, excluding $950 freight, and includes the following standard features:
18-inch Alloy wheels with P245/45R18 All-Season tires
Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Nine airbags: Advanced dual front airbags with Occupant Classification System (OCS), front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side-curtain airbags, driver knee airbag
Front and rear outboard seat belt pretensioners
Anti-whiplash front head restraints
Automatic headlights w/ LED headlight accents
Daytime running lights
4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display
Power folding outside mirrors with Genesis logo puddle lamps
Hands-free Smart Trunk opener
Heated dual power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators
12-way power heated leather front seats (with power lumbar)
Leather seating surfaces
Power windows with front & rear auto-down/up with pinch protection
Electroluminescent gauge cluster
Proximity key with push-button start
Intelligent drive mode select
Leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment
Steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio controls
Dual automatic temperature control
Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass & HomeLink®
Touchscreen Navigation System w/8-inch Display
AM/FM/SiriusXM®/CD/MP3/HD Radio® audio system with 7 speakers
Bluetooth® hands-free phone system and audio streaming
Rain-sensing wipers w/ auto defogger windshield
TPMS with individual tire pressure indicator
Hyundai Blue Link® Infotainment System with Google™ (90-day trial)
SiriusXM Travel Link® (includes SiriusXM Traffic, stock, sports, weather, gas prices, movie info – 3-year complimentary)
Genesis 3.8L AWD
Genesis 3.8L AWD has a MSRP of $40,500, excluding $950 freight, and includes all of the 3.8 RWD equipment plus the following features:
HTRAC AWD system
Heated rear seats
Heated steering wheel