By on January 25, 2019

Earlier this month, we reported on industry rumblings that suggested Genesis is keen on building a hotter G70. While the brand has issued no official announcement on upcoming products, such a model seems likely. At least, once the fledgling brand gets a high-volume crossover (or two) to market.

Erwin Raphael, Executive Director of Genesis Motor America, recently added fuel to those rumors while putting his own twist on things. Whereas product planner Mike O’Brien hinted at an upgraded G70, Raphael brought up something more purpose built for performance.

“I do think it is incredibly important to have a sports car — a high-performance, purebred sports car. Even something with electrified powertrains,” he told CarBuzz in a recent interview. “We think the market is going that way with the low-end torque. The responsiveness is important for a sports car.”

That points directly at the Essentia Concept, Genesis’ idea for a carbon-fiber super grand tourer with multiple electric motors that debuted at last year’s New York Auto Show. However, in addition to being incredibly expensive to develop, it’s not the type of model we’d expect from the brand at this early stage. It also looks far too much like something from Aston Martin and is missing a couple of doors.

Raphael wasn’t certain of Genesis actually wanting a coupe in its lineup. He elaborated by saying “a sports car would likely be a coupe but a coupe for the sake of having one — I don’t know.”  It’s his belief that delivering a coupe from an existing platform was “a completely different issue from a coupe and having a coupe strategy.”

That points right back at the G70. But how would Genesis do it? Hyundai recently started packaging high-performance model under its N division — which apes BMW’s M ideology and even borrows one of its former engineers. But it has also delivered a good car that’s earning heaps of praise. Could the automaker’s luxury arm do the same?

Erwin doesn’t think so.

“We have no plans at this point in time,” Raphael said. “We can move the dynamic drive and push it far enough that we don’t need a separate division.”

We’re inclined to agree, though it wouldn’t be hard to affix a common badge to denote performance models if Genesis chose to. It would also be silly for the brand to waste the dynamic engineering expertise Hyundai Group currently has at its disposal. But that doesn’t mean the Korean luxury brand needs to roll out its own version of AMG or M Performance.

As Genesis is still finding its footing as a brand, it probably shouldn’t overreach. But there are a lot of ways to go about this, and, based on the number of employees unofficially announcing the automaker’s desire to broaden its performance appeal, Genesis will eventually make a move. Maybe we won’t ever see the Essentia in production, but we’ll probably see more serious contenders for the brand’s German rivals, with very impressive spec sheets, after the company releases a premium crossover like the GV80.

2018 Genesis G70 lineup - Image: Genesis

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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13 Comments on “Genesis Motors Keeps Talking Performance...”

  • avatar

    Anyone notice the Genesis badge on the hood is looking more and more like the Chrysler badge?

  • avatar

    So cars don’t need mirrors or headlights anymore?!

    (Yes, I know this is a concept and yes, I remember the article about having little screens on the inside of the car in lieu of mirrors)

  • avatar

    Top photo… talking weenis?

  • avatar

    Is that the KITT 3000?

  • avatar

    As concepts go, I’ve seen worse. But why give it longnosed FR proportions when they have the flexibility to put the EV hardware midships? Slightly more in line with a halo car, certainly more in line with “purebred sports car”, and better aerodynamics.

  • avatar

    “a high-performance, purebred sports car. Even something with electrified powertrains,” he told CarBuzz in a recent interview. ‘We think the market is going that way with the low-end torque. The responsiveness is important for a sports car.’ ”

    Am I weird in that I like my sports cars to have some top-end too? I mean I desire a healthy level of torque, but I have the H/K 3.3T and my biggest complaint about it is that it falls on its face too early on the tach. A lack of low-end torque is rarely an issue these days. One reason I’m excited about the Supra is because the BMW engine at least has an attic.

  • avatar

    That grill on the Essentia looked a bit familiar:×3-hQy2iL.jpg

  • avatar

    Irregardless to whether Genesis starts a performance sub-brand (if they do, it wouldn’t be until sometime down the road when they have their planned lineup completed), there will be a “hotter” G70 simply from the engine upgrades.

    As for a coupe, there was one (a 2-door companion to the G70) in the Genesis roadmap from a few years ago, but haven’t heard much about it (could be just b/c it was slated to be among the last models to launch, along w/ the 3rd Genesis CUV).

    The top people at Genesis have been pushing to get the greenlight for the Essentia, but we’ll see.

    W/ Cadillac and others making major announcements about electrics, could play in the Essentia’s favor.

  • avatar

    Firebird returns!

  • avatar

    Because this is where their attentions (and dollars) should be in order to be successful in todays marketplace. After all, Jags paying all their bills with the F-Type alone… or was that the F- something else…

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