Hyundai rolled out an updated Equus sedan this week at the 2013 New York auto show, but several thousand miles away, the automaker unwrapped this sexy HND-9 concept coupe at the Seoul motor show.
As its alphanumeric name suggests, the HND-9 was styled by Hyundai’s design studios in Namyang, South Korea. According to the automaker, this show car – which also appears to carry the name “Venace” – previews future “luxury sports coupe models.” That’s not an outright confirmation that this forecasts the next-generation Genesis Coupe, but it does indicate there’s a strong chance it could influence that car’s design.
From what we see here, that would certainly be good news. Hyundai says the HND-9’s exterior is an evolution of its Fluidic Sculpture design language, but the HND-9 looks far more elegant and sophisticated than any prior Hyundai design we’ve seen.
If the HCD-9 looks longer, lower, and wider than the present Genesis Coupe, it’s because it is. The concept is 2.5 inches longer overall, an inch wider, and 2.3 inches lower than Hyundai’s present rear-wheel drive coupe. In many ways, the HND-9 reminds us of a new twist on Aston Martin’s design DNA, thanks to arching front fenders, a muscular hood, and a sharply raked fastback profile.
Although the front clip tapers inwards much like an Aston, the perforated grille is unique to Hyundai. The curt rear fascia is vaguely reminiscent of Aston’s V12 Zagato, although the HND-9’s boomerang tail lamps and minimalist rear diffuser are arguably more attractive.
Like the recent HCD-14 Genesis sedan concept, the HND-9’s interior wraps the driver in a cocoon that elegantly sweeps outward from the dashboard. Hyundai says it drew some inspiration from aircraft design – that’s evident in the “glass cockpit” look of the gauges and touchscreen controls, and also explains the steering wheel. Although the latter looks a bit like an unbaked pretzel, the lower outriggers do emulate grips on an airplane’s yoke.
The HND-9 is powered by a direct-injection, turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 that’s rated at 365 hp, about five hp shy of the Genesis Coupe’s 3.8-liter V-6. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Should Hyundai pursue development of a luxury coupe like this? We’ll let you debate that in the comments section below, but if nothing else, we hope and pray that the next-generation Genesis Coupe looks at least half as good as the HCD-9.