DETROIT, Michigan - Hyundai presented a glimpse of its design future at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with unveiling of its HCD-14 Genesis concept.The luxury concept not only hints at the automaker’s future premium vehicles but also serves at a platform to showcase its latest technologies such as eye-tracking and gesture-based controls. 'SERIOUS GLOBAL CONTENDERS'The HCD-14 Genesis is powered by a 5.0 V8 mated to a eight-speed auto. The concept uses optical recognition to identify the driver and start the vehicle. The model has ceramic-lined exhausts tuned for power and “a deep baritone note.” Tak Uk Im, chief operating officer and head of Hyundai international operations division in Seoul, said: “Hyundai’s Genesis and Equus models are now recognised as serious contenders in the global luxury market. “Our concept vehicle will further raise Hyundai’s premium brand image. Our focus going forward is to strive for brand innovation based on quality.”MERCEDES CLS ANYONE?The HCD-14 Genesis builds on the automaker's fluidic designs with its new “liquid-metal” design language. At the front it shows a bold fascia surround and brushed metal grille surfaces. The corners of the boot lid incorporate heat extractor accents. From the side, it appears as a classic rear-drive sport sedan reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Christopher Chapman, Hyundai’s chief designer, commented: “We instilled HCD-14 Genesis with a premium-sport four-door coupe road presence. “Its sleek and lightweight silhouette does not punish the wind, but uses fluidic precision with dramatic surfacing that conveys natural restraint. A driver-centric cockpit prioritises dramatic sculpture over infotainment button overload.“ Laminated and milled-wood detailing delivers a fresh, topographical map-like visual interest throughout the cabin-length centre console,” he said.The rear doors are in a rear-hinged configuration, with a single, oversized hinge articulating diagonally. Inside you can spot a curves along the centre console which carries through to the instrument panel and rear seats. This design-wave theme is continued on the door handles and rear headrests.The centre console includes a storage sport for an iPad tablet.EYE-TRACKING CONTROLSUsing driver eye-tracking and 3D hand-gesture recognition, the vehicle is able to recognise driver commands without the need for manual controls. Once a command is selected via eye-tracking, thumb controls or gesture recognition can be used to select navigation, infotainment, audio and smartphone functions. Drivers can keep track of information via the windshield heads-up display. We imagine this technology could be used as anti-hijacking tool. The car could either fail to start if the drivers face is not recognised or it could slow-down and stop if a would-be car thief is behind the wheel.MORE FROM HYUNDAIThe Korean automaker also showed its new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Based on a mid-sized sedan concept, the PHEV may enter mass production in the near future. Powered by 2.0 GDI engine, Hyundai claims it next-generation PHEV has a range of 32km on battery power. The battery can be fully charged in three hours.Ki-Sang Lee, head of Hyundai’s eco friendly vehicle R&D center, said: “Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles will surprise drivers with their economic driving experience. “A bigger battery allows for longer driving ranges in the electric-mode, while the automatic switch to hybrid mode when battery is low eliminates the range anxiety that has plagued electric vehicles. “Follow the Detroit auto show with Wheels24 on our Detroit show section.