Interview

Genesis Design Boss Promises No Audi Russian Doll Syndrome

Translation: they won't look the same.

Look at any Audi: it’s almost impossible to mistake it for any other brand. Problem is, Audis look way too much like other Audis. Call it the Russian-doll syndrome. This design philosophy has long been criticized for lack of creativity, and Genesis has no intention of following suit. Speaking to Car and Driver, newly installed Genesis design chief Luc Donckerwolke pledged “There will be no Russian-doll syndrome (in future models). We will not have such a strong similarity between generations, so that people will actually know what the car is.

But the theme will be the same. What’s ironic about Donckerwolke using the phrase “Russian-doll syndrome” is the fact that he formerly worked at VW Group. In fact, he spent most of his career there, serving as design boss for Lamborghini, Seat, and Bentley. Point being, by using the “Russian-doll” comparison, he was taking a direct swipe at Audi, another brand from his former employer. As for the newly unveiled Genesis G70, that wasn’t Donckerwolke’s work because the design was already finalized by the time he arrived. He’s a fan of the G70, saying it’s a “sexy car with ideal proportions,” but Donckerwolke’s first Genesis design showing was the GV80 SUV concept the debuted in New York back in April.

His goal is to convey “athletic elegance,” evidenced partially by the concept’s rear-wheel-drive proportions. Note its short front overhang, long rear overhang, and muscular curves throughout. Will the Genesis brand ever have some sort of signature styling? Yes, and Donckerwolke revealed that the “quad (head and tail) lights will become our signature.” Future front grilles won’t have a hexagonal shape but, instead, the look of a crest, exactly what’s on the concept. Donckerwolke has a lot of work ahead of him as Genesis aims to launch three new vehicles by 2020. The current G80 and G90 are already aging fast, so no doubt facelifts aren’t too far off.

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