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Hyundai Unveils HCD-7 Concept Car; The New Look of Luxury

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

CHICAGO, Feb. 7 -- Hyundai Motor America today unveiled its latest concept vehicle during press days at the Chicago Auto Show. Called the HCD-7 and styled at the Hyundai California Design Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., the HCD-7 is a flagship luxury sedan for Hyundai -- a concept of what might be the next step up from the company's current XG350 sedan.

``The HCD-7 is designed to show what the next generation of an advanced performance sedan might look like. It's the new look of luxury,'' said Roger Flores, senior designer at the Hyundai California Design Center who penned the initial drawings for the concept. ``The HCD-7 is luxurious, spacious and comfortable, but it is also sleek and sporty. Too often luxury sedans end up with traditional three-box formal styling and end up resembling boxes on wheels. But luxury car buyers today want both comfort and style,'' he added.

The sleek, aerodynamically designed exterior of the HCD-7 was inspired by an aircraft fuselage and features wraparound windshield glass that hides the A-pillars and pulls the ``energy-tension'' around the sides and to the rear of the fuselage. ``This, along with the clamshell roof design provides a sleek aerodynamic package and results in less wind noise in the cabin,'' Flores added.

Most luxury cars have an elegant grille and the HCD-7 has a bold grille that is the focal point of the front end, yet still retains a family resemblance to current Hyundai automobiles. The jewel-like headlight assembly features upright projector beam lamps vertically stacked. The taillights are also vertically stacked and fitted into the bold rear fenders.

The body envelope is designed to hug the large wheels and performance tires and reduce body overhang to a minimum. This provides extra room inside for the driver and passengers. The fender design with a hard cut character line gives the HCD-7 a strong, aggressive stance and provides room for the huge, armor-like billet aluminum wheels that are 21 inches in diameter and 10-inches wide. Fitted on those wheels are 245/45R-21 Michelin tires. ``The wheels and tires frame the car and carry the fuselage. The big wheels are designed to look like armor to protect the fuselage,'' Flores added.

The exterior surface is painted in a color described as warm silver. ``It is a color befitting a luxury car,'' Flores said.

``Inside, we carried on with the aircraft theme creating a luxurious interior that might be found on an executive jet aircraft,'' said Martin Frost a senior designer at the Hyundai California Design Center responsible for the interior design of the HCD-7. The occupants are treated to comfort and elegance. The dashboard is arched toward the driver and front seat passenger to reduce the reach to controls and the instrument panel is simple yet elegant -- tailored after the most elegant, most readable watch faces. The door panels have been curved in a concave arc -- similar to the fuselage of an executive jet to create a cocooned feeling for the driver and passengers.

``We used a unique B-pillar design to emphasize the structural integrity of the cabin,'' Frost explained. ``The large brushed aluminum B-pillars provide extra strength, both visually and structurally.''

``The unique instrument panel in the HCD-7 is laid out horizontally and in conjunction with the door panel section, the effect is one of both great real and perceived interior strength,'' he said. To provide a feeling of even more space, there is no center stack containing the HVAC, navigation and sound system controls. Instead, there is a state-of-the-art 7-inch LCD flat screen color monitor that pops out of the dashboard when the owners inserts the ignition ``card'' into a slot on the right side of the steering wheel.

The input devices for the monitor are located in two separate locations. For passenger convenience one set is placed below the monitor and controls for the driver are placed on the steering wheel.

They consist of two paddles, similar to the gear selector paddles on a modern open wheel racing car that control the navigation, HVAC and audio functions in the vehicle. ``Having the paddle switches on the steering wheel gives the driver intuitive control of the vehicle functions without distraction from driving,'' Frost said.

``The seating area is best described as opulent,'' said Frost. ``Again, following the theme of the executive jet aircraft we have large tailored seats that are fully adjustable and trimmed with the finest, specially-selected leathers.''

The overall look of the Hyundai HCD-7 Concept Car is one of a counter-wedge. It suggests a feel of elegance along with a sporty attitude. It acts as a statement of what a luxury sedan can be.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are sold and serviced by Hyundai Motor America through more than 500 dealers nationwide.

     Hyundai HCD-7 Concept Car
     A four-door, front drive luxury sedan of the future

     Wheelbase:          2830mm
     Overall length:     4960mm
     Overall width:      1848mm
     Overall height:     1432mm
     Curb weight:        TBA

     Engine:             All-aluminum DOHC 32-valve V8
     Bore:               86.0mm
     Stroke:             96.8mm
     Displacement:       4498cc
     Compression ratio:  10.0:1
     Horsepower:         270 @ 5,500 RPM
     Induction:          Multi-port fuel injection (Gas Direct Injection
                         available outside U.S.)

     Transmission:       Five-speed automatic with Shiftronic manual shift
     Gear ratios:
     1st:                3.840:1
     2nd:                2.140:1
     3rd:                1.440:1
     4th:                1.020:1
     5th:                0.708:1
     Reverse:            3.497:1

     Wheels and Tires:   21 x 10-inch billet aluminum wheels with 245/45
                         R-21 Michelin tires

     Brakes:             4-wheel vented disc with ABS and electronic
                         traction control

     Steering:           Electric power steering

     Suspension:         Double wishbone front and rear with coil springs,
                         adaptive electro hydraulic shock absorbers with
                         automatic ride height control and anti-roll bar