NAIAS 2014 Unveiled: 2015 Hyundai Genesis

If it weren’t for the logos and swarms of journalists, the Hyundai display at the 2014 NAIAS could have been mistaken for a scene out of the movie Tron. It featured pulsing electronic music, bright blue and green lights, stunning computer animations, and the rumbling voice of Jeff Bridges to introduce the new 2015 Genesis, a full seven years after launching the first-generation version of the same nameplate in 2008 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

“Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the all-new Hyundai Genesis,” bellowed the voice of the aforementioned Academy Award winner. The 2015 Genesis is an all-new car “without a single part carried over from the previous chassis,” according to the vice president of product and corporate planning, Mike O’Brien. In contrast, both engine choices are carried over from the first-generation Genesis. However, the 3.8-liter Lambda V-6 and 5.0-liter Tau V-8 are both revised for the new car to add more low-end performance and to increase efficiency. Expect horsepower figures close to the current 263-hp and 395-hp ratings, respectively.

2015 Hyundai Genesis
The 2015 Genesis is loaded with technology. It is the first vehicle to have an in-cabin CO2 sensor that can regulate airflow throughout the vehicle. The second-generation Bluelink system, heads-up display, haptic vibration warnings through the steering wheel, auto-open trunk, 900-watt Lexicon 7.1 surround sound speakers, and a new HTRAC all-wheel drive system are just a few of the new features fitted to Hyundai’s second-generation entrance into the premium market.

This technology also heavily emphasizes safety. With over 50% ultra-high-strength steel, the Genesis’ all-new chassis structure promises to be the “strongest and safest in its class.” Its proprietary “Sensory Surround Safety” system combines radar cruise control with front and rear cameras to detect imminent collisions and applied partial or full brake power to avoid an accident. Combined with the highly rigid new structure and a new rack-mounted power steering system, the 2015 Genesis is “designed to achieve the highest crash rating of any rear-wheel drive car today,” said O’Brien.

Hyundai will use the 2015 Genesis to showcase their new design language: Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. Christopher Chapman, chief designer at Hyundai Design North America, highlighted the hexagonal grille, longer wheelbase, and shorter overhangs that give the new Genesis a more commanding and solid stance. The design is intended to set a more refined template for the “fast-changing global brand” that Hyundai has proven to be over the past few model cycles. The interior has an impressive array of genuine wood and aluminum trim options that solidify the Genesis’ premium-level ambitions.

The 2015 Genesis marks an important point in Hyundai’s journey as a global automotive power. David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, stated that this “unrelenting focus on the customer” led to 2013 being the fourth consecutive record-setting year in terms of sales volume. With all plants at full capacity and a responsive dealer network selling the entire inventory that they have, this growth is not surprising. And with the all-new Genesis arriving this spring, Hyundai’s sales should continue to grow healthily.

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