DETROIT – Hyundai offers media a glimpse of its next-generation Genesis near-luxury sedan, with the unveiling of the HCD-14 concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show here.

The concept is described by newly named Hyundai Design North America chief Chris Chapman as sleek, with a “lightweight silhouette” and having a “premium sport 4-door coupe road presence.”

Large wheels, a sharply tapered greenhouse and short rear deck are key design features of the HCD-14 Genesis concept.

The concept does away with multiple center-stack buttons to prioritize “dramatic sculpture over infotainment-button overload,” Chapman says. Features are selected via eye-tracking, then thumb controls or 3-D hand-gesture technology drills down further to make a selection in the categories of navigation, infotainment, audio, heating/ventilation/air conditioning and smartphone connectivity.

The human-machine interface, which also includes a windshield heads-up display, is proprietary to Hyundai and “sets the benchmark in active driver safety technology,” the auto maker says. The instrument panel’s double-cresting-wave design is echoed on interior door handles and rear headrest hoods.

An iPad storage station, which firmly secures the Apple-brand tablet, and laminated and milled-wood trim that gives a “topographical-map-like visual interest” to the center console, are other interior features of the Genesis concept.

The HCD-14 uses the same 5.0L V-8 Tau engine, a prior Ward’s 10 Best Engines winner, as does the ’13 model Genesis 4-door. The engine features direct injection and dual continuously variable valve timing and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. In the current Genesis sedan, the Tau makes a maximum 429 hp, but Hyundai details no specs for the concept car.

For the Genesis concept, Hyundai employs an optical system that allows the engine to start upon recognition of the driver. The auto maker also employs a ceramic-lined exhaust with cooling fins integrated into wider than average tips.

The HCD-14 rides on an “ultra-rigid” chassis and has a 5-link front and rear suspension, which “reduces suspension-travel changes to camber and toe for consistent grip out of bends,” Hyundai says.

The large-diameter wheels are composed of lightweight alloys, and carbon-fiber rings the voided areas of the design.

The Genesis has been a relative success for Hyundai as its first luxury-focused vehicle to be sold in U.S., starting in 2008. Sales, which include the 2-door coupe, hit their peak last year with33,973 units, WardsAuto data shows.

Hyundai claims the Genesis is doing better in some metrics than other luxury competitors. Two years ago, the auto maker predicted higher residual values for its V-8 sedan than BMW’s 5-Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, according to Automotive Lease Guide data.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com