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Future models - Genesis - Essentia

New York show: Genesis sports electrifying new look

Electric design: Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis has wheeled out a wild electric concept vehicle that hints at the first grand tourer from the Korean brand.

Essentia EV concept lifts the curtain on the future of Hyundai luxury brand Genesis

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Genesis logo29 Mar 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

GENESIS has used the New York motor show to give the world an insight into a potential all-electric grand tourer sports coupe bearing a new design language and unique construction technology from Hyundai’s luxury brand.

Called Essentia, the low, wide 2+2 two-door concept car with its bubble top and Lightning McQueen face is a long way from production ready, but appears to be the shape of things to come from the South Korean company as it sets out to take sales from luxury car-makers from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan.

If it comes to fruition, the vehicle would not only be Genesis’s first grand tourer, but also its first all-electric vehicle.

Such a coupe could be one of six Genesis models set to be rolled out by about 2021, joining the current three sedans, the G70, G80 and G90, and – most likely – an X5-sized SUV based on the plug-in GV80 concept shown 12 months ago at New York.

In Australia, the Genesis roll-out was to have started about now with the launch of the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class-sized G70 sedan followed by the debut of the revamped G80 large sedan that until now has been badged Hyundai Genesis in Australia.

However, Hyundai headquarters in Seoul has ordered that the Genesis product roll-out in Australia be delayed until the third quarter of this year so it can be co-ordinated with a national sales and marketing push for the overall Genesis brand and its new dealer network.

The Essentia’s design is said to re-imagine Genesis’s Athletic Elegance design language for all future Genesis models.

Unveiling the car in New York, Hyundai’s Genesis brand global head Manfred Fitzgerald said: “We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasising a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle.

“This is what the Genesis Essentia concept is all about, and we are thrilled to introduce our interpretation of an all-electric, two-door gran turismo here in New York.”

Although information released by Genesis on the Essentia is short on detail, it is said to be powered by an all-electric multi-motor powertrain in a carbon-fibre monocoque body.

The latter has been left exposed on the car’s interior, revealing a lattice-like honeycomb construction technique.

The design potentially provides a stiff but light body while at the same time providing all-round crash protection.

No power or performance figures were announced, but the media release described the Essentia as “high performance”, meaning it would target numerous all-electric sports machines now under development, perhaps including Porsche’s Mission E.

High-lifting scissor doors are unlikely to make it into production, as they are a real-world pain in the average garage or parking lot.

The same goes for the monster windscreen that extends almost to the nose of the car, lifting up to expose what appears to be luggage space between the front wheels.

Inside, the Essentia retains a steering wheel and two pedals, indicating that human input will at least be optional alongside autonomous technology in the Genesis future.

A flat-screen instrument binnacle mounted on the steering column sits in front of a panoramic infortainment screen that stretches the full width of the dash, spreading functions such as sat-nav, audio and climate controls across the car.

Buttons and knobs are largely eliminated, replaced by a console-mounted circular touch-screen.

The passenger-side seat has a fold out leg rest, like a lounge recliner.

The seats are especially thin, freeing up knee room for two rear-seat passengers.

Massive bronze-finished alloy wheels are shod with low-profile Pirelli tyres.

That bronze finish is carried through to other exterior trim items, including the grille surround and belt line that runs from the nose to the back of the glasshouse.

At the back of the car, an ovoid-shaped rear fascia bears LED tail-lights in thin strips, along with a Genesis badge that is illuminated through the plastic panel.

A duck-tail spoiler reminiscent of those on an old Chevrolet Camaro sits above a race-style diffuser that, like the rest of the body, is fashioned from carbon-fibre.

That Lightning McQueen mouth at the front provides a similar aerodynamic downforce function, channelling air through the front and up over the bonnet and roof.

Side vents at the front appear to guide cooling air to the brakes before exiting behind the front wheels.

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