Hyundai is a very smart and savvy organization, staffed by some of the keenest automotive minds available at any price.
Further proving their strategy to move upmarket and laterally toward enthusiasts, the Genesis sedan and Coupe lines continue to blossom. With this core rear-drive platform, many cars are possible that would have been mere pipe-dreams in the past. (And the present for others such as Acura who are tied to front-drive up and down the range.)
HYUNDAI CONCEPT HND-9
My favorite details on the HND-9 are many, but include the free-form grille shape, the swan-wing doors that bring part of the rear glass up with them, and the sharply-chopped trunk line. Overall, a magnificent specimen that could proudly call itself an Aston-Martin! Far more beautiful than the angry-faced BMW 650i.
This push is most clearly visible with the Genesis Coupe platform. It is already sharing its layouts with a kid-brother and big sister concepts: On the smaller side, the PassoCorto may in fact be a style destined for a front-engine car, despite its mid-engine proportions.
HYUNDAI CONCEPT PassoCorto
Or perhaps the KIA GT4 Stinger is closest on the horizon with Genesis Coupe-derived mechanicals.
KIA CONCEPT GT4 STINGER
On the larger and even faster side of the Genesis Coupe equation comes this next concept: the 2013 Seoul concept HND-9.
This is most definitely a Grand Tourer in the grandest sense — a car that would directly challenge the BMW 650i and even perhaps the M6 some day. Its style certainly would feel right at home approaching the $75,000 mark — which is quite an achievement for this young brand.
One special Hyundai Concept is the i-ONIQ, which recalls the forthcoming Volkswagen e-Up Lite in how large and eco-focused it is. But clearly, these are no Prius wannabe’s.
This is expected to fill a new segment of Tesla and Cadillac ELR shoppers who prefer silent motoring while using as little fossil fuel as possible.
All are quite fresh and lovely, and show some exciting new shortcuts to greatness for car-enthusiast drivers who must have RWD and excellent dynamics.
It gives me no pleasure to type these critiques, as I am a genuine fan of Hyundai. Trying to be helpful and honest at the same time.
But looking at these concepts and the pruction cars back-to-back, there appear to be two levels of design talent at Hyundai:
Brilliant with the Concepts versus Ghastly at Production?
Of course, nothing is ever that simple. Many shapes are not production-feasible using existing manufacturing techniques. This is why General Motors plopped out that wretched Monte Carlo for three decades. No designer even wanted to be attached to the final production model, because all of the good was wiped away making things cheap to stamp and assemble.
See the upcoming Genesis Concept-to-Reality article for further insight into how this great chasm of skill could exist within Hyundai Design, or if we are wrong altogether about the 2015 Genesis’ style direction.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.