Genesis is one of the newest brands on the market, launched a few years ago as a separate luxury marque of Hyundai. With two luxury sedans in its lineup and a third — the new G70 — debuting here in New York, Genesis seems to be taking a measured approach, slowly building the brand and its offerings. At last year’s show an SUV concept hinted at a future Genesis SUV, and at this year’s show we’re hoping that this incredibly sexy Essentia concept is also a peek at a future Genesis product.
Passion and Technology
“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, global head of the Genesis brand. “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,” Fitzgerald said.
The Essentia is a pure electric vehicle with multiple motors that would drive all four wheels. Performance would match the sleek styling — it’s estimated that a vehicle such as this would be able to sprint to 60 mph in a mere 3 seconds. The high-density battery pack lives in a central tunnel rather than beneath the passenger compartment, allowing for a lower floor which provides a roomier cabin. The battery pack also lowers the car’s center of gravity to improve performance and handling.
With no internal combustion engine to work around, designers were able to give the Essentia a very low hood which flows into the windshield. The transparent hood showcases the car’s carbon fiber chassis, suspension and what looks like the nose of an open-wheel race car, making it seem as if there is a race car hidden within this elegant GT.
Genesis Quad Lights
Up front flanking the unique grille are Genesis Quad Lights, which originally debuted on the GV80 SUV concept here in New York a year ago. The super-thin headlights are flush with the body and employ laser optical technology.
At the Rear
Rear Quad Lights integrate into the body like those in front. The rear bodywork looks as if it’s been carved out of the vehicle’s sheet metal and is finished with a carbon fiber diffuser.
The Essentia’s silhouette emphasizes the classic GT styling with the long, low hood and swept back cabin. The fact that the cabin is a glass “bubble” adds another level of uniqueness to the Essentia concept. Wheels are finished in Midas metal copper which play well off the car’s Stardust Gray Metallic paint.
The Essential concept has doors that open upward, allowing for easy entry and egress. Typically these would be dubbed gull-wing doors, but Genesis refers to them as butterfly doors. A sensor on the B-pillar provides access to the vehicle via fingerprint or facial recognition.
Inside, the front seats look like modern furniture, trimmed in cognac leather with herringbone quilting. Oxford Blue leather swathes the rear seats, while the roof pillars get trimmed in blue velvet. Even the Esentia’s seat belts are special, made from glass pearl finished/treated aluminum and polished aluminum. Layered carbon fiber trim adds a level of sportiness to the interior.
The gauges and other driving information gets presented in front of the driver on an 8-inch widescreen display. A larger display fills the entire dashboard, providing infotainment, climate, communication and other details for both driver and passenger.
Designed to be Driven
Many of the concepts introduced lately are designed as autonomous vehicles — in fact there are some that don’t even have a steering wheel. It was refreshing to see a car company that has a vision for a future where people will still drive their cars and enjoy doing it. Genesis meant for the Essentia to be driven.
Eye to the Future
Currently the Essentia is only a concept vehicle with no production plans. However, Genesis will likely carry over some Essentia technology and styling cues to a future GT car that fits well within the Genesis brand.