Genesis' Mint Concept: The Car No One Asked For?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
genesis mint concept the car no one asked for

Genesis Motors revealed a small city car in The Big Apple this week. However, the model’s debut wasn’t part of the daily goings-on at the New York International Auto Show. Instead, the company decided to unveil the Mint Concept at Hudson Yards, ahead of the trade show’s official press days — utilizing terms like “urban icon” and “reductive versatility” while somehow expecting to be taken seriously.

“As a brand, Genesis embraces progressive design values, and the Mint Concept reinforces this commitment from a previously undiscovered perspective,” Manfred Fitzgerald, Genesis’ executive vice president, said at the vehicle’s introduction. “Mint belongs in the city, and we are proud to introduce our evolution of the ideal city car in New York.”

This is the kind of industrial-grade nonsense your author absolutely despises. However, I am elated Genesis did this, as it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to be exceptionally critical of a Korean brand. Outside of Hyundai’s Nexo, the country’s been on a hot streak lately. It’s wonderful to be able to prove that I’m still an unpleasant crankshaft without bias.

By becoming indistinguishable from the general hardships of city life, the manufacturer claims the concept perfectly complements urban living. It’s quite small, which makes it easy to park, but Genesis seems to have intentionally forgotten to mitigate the associated shortcomings. Rather than make the Mint petite and practical, the team decided to just make it small and stylish. A parcel shelf designed for occasional use replaces a traditional trunk and can be accessed by a set of scissor-style doors that appear to serve no real purpose other than showing off.

Genesis is operating under the assumption that it’s unwise to leave items sitting around in plain view of the public, so all of the Mint’s storage solutions are temporary. While correct in its assessment of how safe it is to display your valuables, a better solution may have been to equip the model with a cargo cover. Of course, then you wouldn’t be able to see the concept’s beautiful leather upholstery.

Overall, the design is good. The three-box exterior is sculpted in a manner that feels upscale, futuristic, and also timeless. The interior is also easy on the eyes. Tasteful touches stand out due to the Mint’s minimalist take on motoring, and I really like the swiveling bench seat. But it’s all in service of something that makes very little sense.

The flat-bottom (and top) steering wheel is surrounded by six Graphic User Interface (GUI) information screens that, according to Genesis, “call attention to critical vehicle functions individually.” A seventh screen is mounted in the center of the steering wheel, displaying more pertinent vehicle information — like how fast you’re going. It’s a handsome interface, but far too small and simplistic to be useful.

Genesis estimates 200 miles per full charge and 350-KW fast charging. Considering that this vehicle is almost certainly vaporware, it’s funny to see the company go with a totally plausible range.

As a New Yorker, I have legitimate grievances with this terrible city. The subway is terrible, buses suck, and driving enjoyment is limited to very specific hours of the day. Getting around by any means other than walking is a total drag and owning a Mint is not going to change that. Anyone with enough money to buy a premium vehicle isn’t going to want a comically small one, and everyone else will simply buy a compact crossover that stands to be dented within the first week of ownership because they probably can’t afford to store it in a private garage. Genesis still doesn’t build a crossover, and now they’re offering up this masturbatory tech concept intended to excite people who probably don’t like cars in the first place? Genius!

The only chance in hell the Mint would have on the market, assuming Genesis actually wants to build it, would stem from trendy young urbanites with more money than sense. But I happen to have just enough faith in humanity to know better.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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3 of 16 comments
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]