Genesis Putting Essentia Concept Into Production

Concepts

Here's hoping the finished product is as stunning as the concept.

Hyundai's Genesis brand certainly caught our attention when it revealed the Essentia concept at the 2018 New York Auto Show. But as fanciful as it looked as a show car, the Korean luxury marque intends to build it.

"We are very committed to the Essentia," Genesis North America chief Erwin Raphael told Motor Trend. "We love the car. We think the car will do very well." Raphael didn't outline a timeframe for its production, but previous reports have pegged it around 2021-22. Whenever it's ready, production is expected to be more limited than the company's mass-produced models.

The stunning coupe concept features carbon-fiber bodywork, butterfly doors, transparent wheels, blue velvet carpeting, and an all-electric powertrain. Many of those elements may be jettisoned along the rocky road from show car to showroom. Design chief Peter Schreyer has indicated, for example, that the butterfly doors will likely to be replaced by more conventional portals. But if Genesis wants the Essentia to serve as a halo car, it will want to stick as close to the svelte shape as possible.

The brand's current lineup consists entirely of four-door sedans, and hasn't had a two-door since it split off and the previous Hyundai Genesis Coupe was discontinued.

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Genesis plans to offer a total of six vehicles, only three of which have already been introduced. Two new crossovers are already in the works. The Essentia could be the sixth.

The company is also in the process of separating its Genesis showrooms from existing Hyundai dealers in order to complete the transition. All 850 of Hyundai's current dealers in the US are being offered the opportunity to open dedicated Genesis stores, but the final number is expected to be much smaller. However many there will ultimately be, the production version of the Essentia will be sure to draw customers into showrooms.

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