Monday, August 17, 2015

Hyundai Shows Luxury Aims With 'Vision G' Coupe

LOS ANGELES -- Hyundai Motor Co. has built its luxury-car lineup around sedans such as the Genesis and Equus. On Tuesday, by unveiling a slinky coupe concept with self-opening doors, Hyundai signaled that a coupe may be next on its agenda.

Hyundai unveiled the “Vision G” concept during an evening event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ahead of an appearance Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an esteemed classic car show.

Executives attending Tuesday’s event included lead designer Christopher Chapman, who heads the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif., and his boss Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer for Hyundai and sibling brand Kia.

“The concept was designed with coordinated input from Hyundai design studios around the world, but was led by our team here in the U.S.,” Schreyer said in a statement.  He said the coupe was intended to be elegant but unpretentious, conveying “that you don’t need to be over the top in terms of glitz and stereotypical luxury cues.”

Hyundai executives have expressed interest in a more-luxurious replacement for the Genesis Coupe, which has been on sale since 2009 and was not updated when the Genesis sedan was redesigned in 2014.

Its possibilities include a two-door version of the Genesis or the top-of-the-line Equus, which is due to be redesigned in 2016 and will be powered by a 5.0-liter V-8, like the “Vision G” concept.
Luxury sub-brand?

The concept hints at a possible move within Hyundai's lineup to establish a luxury sub-brand, Schreyer told a small group of media at the debit outside the museum.  

"This represents an inspiration for our future family of vehicles," Schreyer said. 

Chapman backed up his boss.  

"We're kind of tickling this idea right?" Chapman said. "We're looking at this idea of moving and expanding our bookshelves a little bit within that premium range."

Ahead of its debut, Hyundai’s coupe went by the codename HCD-16, with the initials standing for “Hyundai California Design.” In early 2013, Hyundai foreshadowed its next-generation Genesis with a concept called HCD-14.

Hyundai plans to show the car this weekend at the exclusive Pebble Beach car week in the coastal California town.

"The confidence Hyundai has gained since launching the Genesis in 2008 is the reason we feel that we belong on such prestigious ground," Schreyer said.

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