Concept to Reality — Design Analysis — Hyundai HCD-14 to the All-New 2015 Genesis — Plus US Pricing and Equipment

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.


HYUNDAI Coupe Designs HND-9 animated gif

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.”

Hyundai PassoCorto Sports Car Is Torino Design GIF


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-




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.



38019_1_1 38022_1_1

HYUNDAI HCD-14 Concept 4 HYUNDAI HCD-14 Concept 5 HYUNDAI HCD-14 Concept 6 HYUNDAI HCD-14 Concept 7



At best.

At worst, the design of the new Genesis is a large missed opportunity to evolve the Genesis premium sedan.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 8


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.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 11

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 12



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?

2015 Hyundai Genesis 15


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 10




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.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3

“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.”


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

  • Rearview camera

  • 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

  • Headlamp washer


2015 Hyundai Genesis 16

Option Packages Available 3.8L RWD and AWD

3.8L Signature Package – $4,000 Option Package MSRP

  • Power tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof

  • Integrated memory system (IMS)

  • Power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel

  • Auto-dimming outside mirrors

  • Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert

  • Lexicon® 14-speaker Discrete Logic 7 Surround Audio

  • HID headlights

  • Parking guidelines

  • Power rear sunshade and manual rear side shades

  • Ventilated front seats

3.8L Technology Package – $3,500 Option Package MSRP

(Requires Signature Package)

  • Ultra-premium leather seats

  • Power driver seat cushion extender and side bolster

  • Lane departure warning system

  • Lane keep assist

  • Smart cruise control (full stop / start capability)

  • Haptic steering wheel

  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

  • Electronic parking brake w/ automatic vehicle hold

  • Pre-safety seatbelt

  • High beam assist

  • Front & rear parking assistance system

  • 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display

2015 Hyundai Genesis 30

3.8L Ultimate Package – $3,500 Option Package MSRP

(Requires Technology Package)

  • Genuine matte finish wood trim & aluminum trim

  • Full color head-up display

  • Premium DIS Navigation w/9.2-inch HD Display

  • Lexicon® 17-speaker Discrete Logic 7 Surround Audio

  • Power trunk lid

  • Dual-mode climate control with CO2 sensor

Genesis 5.0L RWD

Genesis 5.0L RWD has a MSRP of $51,500, excluding $950 freight, and includes all of the Genesis 3.8L Technology Package equipment plus the following features:

  • 5.0L GDI DOHC V8

  • 19-inch Alloy wheels with P245/40R19 (Fr), P275/35R19 (Rr) All-Season tires

  • LED fog lamps

  • Quad exhaust tips

  • Illuminated door sill plates

  • Genuine matte finish wood trim & aluminum trim

5.0L Ultimate Package – $3,250 Option Package MSRP

  • Continuous damping control suspension

  • Full color head-up display

  • Premium DIS Navigation w/9.2-inch HD Display

  • Lexicon® 17-speaker Discrete Logic 7 Surround Audio

  • Power trunk lid

  • Dual-mode climate control with CO2 sensor


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, 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 limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services, complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.


For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit

Hyundai Motor America on Twitter | YouTube | Facebook

What do you think?