Hyundai is not the same brand it was 10 years ago. In fact, the Korean automaker has done such a 180 that most buyers barely seem to remember the econoboxes that used to dwell on dealer lots.
In rapid form, Hyundai has advanced from its initial identity as a bargain automaker with a killer warranty to a producer of desirable products. Potent engines, best-in-class convenience technology, and attractive styling are the new measures of the brand … but its work isn’t finished yet.
Hyundai has made it clear that it’s gunning for higher tiers of luxury. With the new Genesis sedan, build quality and refinement have progressed, and the automaker is poised to tread on the hallowed ground of German automotive royalty.
During Monterey Car Week at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (a fitting setting), Hyundai revealed its Vision G Coupe Concept, an elegant design study that previews the future of Hyundai’s styling and luxury appointments.
“The design is our interpretation of the idea that Hyundai breathes into all of its vehicles — a DNA that balances design and performance with the idea that you don’t need to be over the top in terms of glitz and stereotypical luxury cues,” said Peter Schreyer, Hyundai’s president and chief design officer, in a press release.
The coupe features clean lines, a long hood, high hip-line, and other signature styling traits of modern luxury vehicles. Hyundai’s new grille and Genesis badging help bring the design into production view, and we can expect the new Genesis coupe and Equus successor to borrow visual cues from the concept. Hyundai needs a halo car, though, and it’s interesting to imaging the Vision G becoming a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe for the brand.
Under the hood is Hyundai’s well-loved Tau 5.0-liter V8, which develops 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. With the right transmission and a lean body, a production version of the Vision G could be a genuine performer.
Inside, Hyundai has taken an elegant leap forward with diamond-quilted leather, exposed wood trim, a large LCD infotainment screen, and a clear digital gauge cluster. The lack of button redundancies would undoubtedly be frustrating, but the concept gets a pass for its clean layout.
Pebble Beach is undoubtedly the perfect setting for Hyundai’s refined aspirations.