Last month, Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald told us the company's new concept car " ." He wasn't kidding. The Essentia concept is unlike anything else we've seen from Genesis, or parent company Hyundai. It's a low-slung coupe with butterfly doors. And while it doesn't necessarily preview a new Genesis model to come, it shows the brand is certainly pushing its limits in terms of design.
"A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs," says Genesis' head of design, Luc Donckerwolke. "Essentia embodies the genetic elements of the Genesis design."
Up front, a transparent hood displays the pushrod suspension bits, while large intakes on either side of the grille move air around the fascia. Genesis employs its laser-optical Quad Lights, first seen on the company's GV80 Concept, which are integrated right into the body. Those same lighting elements are found at the rear, where the car's classic GT proportions round off with a short deck.
The Essentia's body panels are made of carbon fiber, and the butterfly-style doors (billionaire doors!) use biometric recognition technology. A sensor on the B-pillar houses both fingerprint and facial recognition software that both opens and closes the doors. Nothing says "I'm a spy" quite like a car that scans your face before gracefully opening a butterfly door.
With the doors raised, you can see the "G-Matrix dynamic web" that connects the exterior and interior surfaces. Genesis says this "highlights the exciting opportunities being explored in 3D printing which transcends the lengthy, inflexible and costly tooling process." All we know is, it looks freaking rad.
Once nestled inside, an 8-inch widescreen display shows vital vehicle information, and your butt nestles into cognac leather seats with herringbone quilting. Contrasting Oxford Blue leather cuts through the cabin, and layered carbon fiber provides an incredibly detailed series of trim pieces that are quite lovely to behold. The rear seats are finished in more Oxford Blue leather, and a luggage compartment in the way-back has "plenty of cargo room for a weekend road trip," says Genesis.
The Essentia's backbone is a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, with a high-density battery pack and "multiple" electric motors arranged in an I pattern through the car's central tunnel. Genesis doesn't divulge any further details about the powertrain, only saying "with an estimated 0-to-60 time of 3.0 seconds, Essentia brings sports car-level performance to the realm of electric luxury coupes." Cool.
As for onboard tech and connectivity, the Essentia is of course fully stocked. The next generation of Genesis' Intelligent Assistant voice recognition tech allows for two-way dialogue, not to mention driving behavior analysis and "driver mood determination." (Creepy, right?) Essentia can apparently transact mobile payments through its center screen, for bill paying on the go. Genesis says the Essentia also integrates into an owner's smart home ecosystem, allowing drivers to preprogram heating and cooling settings, turn on the lights, etc. Advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure tech helps keep Essentia on top of the transportation game, able to react to changing road conditions or traffic situations.
This all sounds wonderful, but remember, this is merely a styling concept that shows how Genesis envisions a luxurious GT. We'd love to see something like this hit production someday, and Genesis has stated it'll bring a luxury/performance coupe to market at some point. For now, feast your eyes on the Korean automaker's future vision. It's really quite stunning.
New York auto show 2018
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