Meet the Genesis Essentia, the Hyundai luxury brand’s rival to the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Mission E.
The South Korean company used the 2018 New York motor show to pull the wraps off the striking GT-style concept car, featuring dramatic styling and an electric powertrain.
“We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasizing a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, the global head of Genesis.
Unlike traditional electric cars that house the batteries in a flat package underneath the passenger compartment, Genesis has stacked them where a transmission tunnel would be in a conventional internal combustion engined car. That gave the designers, headed by the brand’s chief stylist Luc Donkerwolke, the ability to make the Essentia lower with a roofline standing just 127cm above the ground.
Donkerwolke calls the brand’s design language ‘Athletic Elegance’ and it features a number of key styling elements he is trying to use to give the new brand some identity. The brand’s crest grille is flanked by its signature four narrow laser headlights that wrap around the side of the car. For the Essentia concept Genesis has created a transparent bonnet to show off its carbon fibre chassis.
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters,” explained Donckerwolke. “A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.”
While the brand isn’t chasing headline performance figures to beat Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous’ or ‘Insane’ acceleration modes, Genesis claims the Essentia can do the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.0 seconds. No other details were revealed about its powertrain, including power and torque figures or its range.
Genesis did explain some of the other elements integrated into the concept car which includes a range of vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle technology. It also features theoretical integration into its wouldbe owner’s smart home systems, so the car would be able to turn on the house lights and heating systems before arriving home.
The Genesis Gran Turismo could enter production early in the next the decade, possibly as soon as 2021. Before that, the brand has already committed to building two SUVs, a large one based off the GV80 concept revealed at the 2017 New York motor show and a smaller SUV to compete against the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The first of those, the GV80, is expected to be launched globally in 2019.
Hyundai Australia is in the final stages of launching the Genesis brand as a standalone range in the local market later in 2018. The initial line-up will consist of the G70 mid-size sedan and the G80 large sedan, but the local operation has said it will add the SUV models as soon as they become available.