Genesis Motors Keeps Talking Performance
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.
[Images: Genesis Motors]
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