Hyundai’s HCD-14 concept to debut at Detroit Auto Show next week

Hyundai HCD-14 conceptHyundai will be rolling into next week’s Detroit Auto Show with a new concept car. Dubbed HCD-14, it could be new performance sedan, a styling exercise that previews the look of future Hyundais, or a new model of printer. The name doesn’t reveal much.

Hyundai says the HCD-14 will “give the automotive world a glimpse into future Hyundai premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls, and spirited driving dynamics.”

Until we know more about what’s under the hood of the HCD-14, and get specifics on its “3-D” tech, it’s most prudent to concentrate on what we can actually see.

Hyundai has some of the most dynamic styling in the business, so unlike some mainstream manufacturers its cars aren’t often accused of being boring, or being easy to lose in a parking lot.

However, some critics have said that Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language is a bit too overwrought. It is also applied unevenly: Hyundai’s affordable Elantra and Sonata sedans are very extroverted, but the premium Genesis sedan, Equus, and Genesis Coupe look a bit generic.

The HCD-14 should fix that. This concept will likely have more restrained styling, which might look good on a redesigned Genesis or other future luxury cars. The cab-rearward proportions suggest rear-wheel drive, and the overall shape looks very similar to the Audi A7 and Tesla Model S hatchbacks.

The Audi influence is especially apparent in the angular lights, and the nearly horizontal crease running from stem to stern. That’s a cue shared with other Hyundais, but it appears cleaner and more refined in this application.

Having a car that draws comparisons with the A7 and Model S would be great, but it could also be a problem if it looks too much like someone else’s design. Hyundai is trying to establish itself as a maker of luxury cars, and it needs a unique design language in order to do that.

We’ll see if Hyundai pulled it off, and if any exciting new tech awaits, on January 14, when the HCD-14 makes its Detroit debut.