Hyundai's Genesis brand is continuing its march into the realm of pure luxury with the introduction of a stunning all-electric two-seat grand touring sports car concept at the New York International Auto Show.
Electric power will launch the Essentia to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, but its more important aspect is the car's striking "Athletic Elegance" design language, which contributes to a machine that looks both fast and luxurious.
“We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasizing a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, Global Head of the Genesis Brand.
The challenge for prestige brands like Genesis is preserving the necessary elegance while still declaring sporting intent.
Essentia's design embodies serenity, clarity, and beauty while demonstrating a muscular stance that conveys the car's underlying power and potential.
Key to this impression is the long hood, flip-up butterfly doors and a swept-back cabin with it low, 50-inch roof height. That's taller than the 44 inches of a pure performance machine like the Ford GT, but the extra height provides occupants the kind of comfort expected from a grand tourer like the Essentia.
“The search for dynamic proportions was contrasted with advanced aerodynamic flows to highlight the bionic combination of performance and aesthetics,” said executive vice president Luc Donckerwolke, the former Bentley stylist who is now head of Genesis design.
Essentia's carbon fiber chassis is visible through the car's clear hood. Laser headlights point the way for night driving.
The cabin is similarly clean and minimal in its design. "Reducing clutter and focusing on beautifully executed details, while displaying the elegant, transparent cockpit cell, was critical," the company stated at the concept's introduction.
“On the interior, purism has also dominated the creative process for the interior skin, the layer in contact with the occupants, but less traditionalist the connection between the outside skin and the internal structure,” said Donckerwolke.
The car's battery pack is buried in the center tunnel separating driver from passenger rather than being installed underneath the passenger compartment, contributing to the low, 50-inch roofline.
While some exotic concept cars are pie-in-the-sky dreams that will obviously never come true, others, like the Lexus LF-LC concept car that became the LC 500 sports car, simply must be built. So now our only questions for Genesis are "When?" and "How much?"