In the midst of a nearly 3,000 word InsideLine treatise on the forthcoming Equus and Hyundai’s upmarket intentions in general, Hyundai’s USA boss John Krafcik reveals that the car pictured above very nearly became the Hyundai Genesis. No, really.
There was a lot of internal debate on design direction for Genesis. We used a European design house as an early consultant, and its proposals informed the core design elements of the first approved exterior model, which got as far as the tooling stage. In our industry, when you’ve built tools to stamp the exterior sheet metal, you’ve committed millions of dollars, and so you’re pretty much committed at that stage to bring that design to market. But in the end, we weren’t happy with the design. So we made the right decision (albeit a difficult and expensive one) to redo the exterior with a cleaner, more athletic and more enduring design, homegrown from our own design studio.
I got one word for you Krafcik: ballsy.
Let’s be real, the Genesis is hardly the best looking car available, but it’s a damn sight better than this mess. Showing a styling buck that was turned down is a highly unusual move, and one that shows how new Hyundai is to building aspirational cars. But it also shows that, unlike certain established premium brands, Hyundai takes its work more seriously than its mystique. That’s a fresh perspective that can only make the luxury segment more competitive.