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New York show: Genesis shows a fresh Mint

Electric Mint urban sports concept breaks new ground for Hyundai’s luxury arm

17 Apr 2019

HYUNDAI’S Genesis luxury arm chose one of the world’s most bustling metropolises to reveal its take on a futuristic all-electric compact sports coupe for modern urban dwellers.


Shown in New York ahead of the annual Big Apple motor show, the Mint concept – painted appropriately matte green – is a two-door, low-slung two-seater that goes against the trend towards electric crossover vehicles and luxury sedans, seemingly showing that Genesis believes there is life yet in small two-door coupes, even in the electric era.


Global head of Genesis Manfred Fitzgerald said the Mint reinforced Genesis’s progressive design values but from a “previously undiscovered perspective”.


“Mint belongs in the city, and we are proud to introduce our evolution of the ideal city car in New York,” he said.


The concept is described as “highly manoeuvrable and exhilarating to drive”, and while it is said to be a luxury car, it has a minimalist design.


The concept apparently is a collaboration between Hyundai’s three big design studios, with the European centre taking the lead and working with centres in South Korea and the United States.


It is unclear if the design will ever make it into production, but the overall shape certainly could find friends among the world’s city slickers. It would break new ground for Genesis which has hitherto focused on luxury sedans such as the G80, G70 and G90.


In Mint, the battery allegedly provides a range of 320km, but no power, torque or performance figures were produced at the unveiling.


One of the unique features of the body design are upswinging rear doors that provide access to a cargo area behind the seats.


In designing the interior, the focus was on spaciousness, with designers dispensing with the traditional console and instrument binnacle.


A screen in the centre of the steering wheel acts as both instruments and infotainment system, supported by an array of dials on stalks on either side of the squared-off tiller.


The console folds into a flat bench seat, described as a settee. This seating arrangement is unlikely for production as it would provide no lateral support when driving around corners or in a side-on crash.


The roof is a bubble of glass, adding to the spacious feel of the cabin.


Being a concept, the Mint is equipped with massive wheels backed by equally massive disc brakes that would do justice to a supercar.


A mesh-like matrix in the lower half of the spoiler is repeated in the side skirts and rear diffuser, apparently providing air cooling for the battery pack.


LED strips across the width of the car garnish the front and back, with white up front and red down the back. Headlights appear to be hidden.


In Australia, Genesis is finally set to be launched as a standalone marque in June when the G80 lands in showrooms.


It will be joined by the G70 small sedan, but the big G90 limousine is not making the boat to Australia any time soon.

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