Holy Bat-Genesis, this thing is rad!
Genesis just pulled off the surprise of the 2018 New York Auto Show, dropping an electric supercar concept that no one really saw coming. Sure, we knew that they were planning something special, and Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald even said they would have something surprising that represented a “turning point” for the Genesis brand, but this? Dayum! This is the Genesis Essentia Concept high-performance sports car with a carbon-fiber monocoque powered by multiple electric motors.
It’s all unicorns and leprechauns right now, but Genesis designed the concept based around a high-density battery pack built into the center tunnel in an I-shape structure, allowing Essentia to achieve a super-low roofline at 50 inches, just a smidge over four feet tall. The unspecified multiple-electric-motor powertrain delivers an estimated 0-60 time of under three seconds. The hood is transparent, showing off that space-age carbon-fiber chassis and exposing a pushrod suspension. The gaping intakes on either side of the grille act as air curtains, streamlining airflow around the front corners, and air outlets just behind the front wheels are functional, reducing pressure buildup and drag.
And to show that they’re not just aiming for BMW, Jaguar and Lexus, “Butterfly” doors put them on the same level of drama as McLaren, Lambo, and other exotics. Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Genesis Design, explained the desire to create a flagship of this nature, “A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.” The concept introduces new elements in the nascent Genesis design language, like an evolution of the Genesis Grille and even more extreme sliver headlights, which are actually feasible thanks to laser optical technology.
The unique wheels, a repetition of the Genesis G-Matrix theme, are finished in “Midas metal copper”, which also appears as an accent defining the lines separating the windows and body.The interior is thoroughly futuristic, displaying the elegant support structure thanks to a transparent cockpit cell, and marrying traditional materials like leather, velvet and glass with carbon-fibre and aluminum, and a thorough steampunk steering wheel. The Essentia also theoretically makes use of all the latest connectivity like vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle and machine learning to navigate the world around you.
There are screens spreading across the entire breadth of the dash to display all this information, but an isolated eight-inch screen ahead of the driver exclusively for driving essentials.Genesis has made no secret of wanting to challenge established luxury players, but we thought it would be some time before they dipped their engineering toes in this end of the luxury pool. Considering how long it took Audi to conceive of the R8 or Lexus with its LFA, Genesis is way ahead of schedule. Sooner is definitely better than later. “We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “This is what the Genesis Essentia Concept is all about.” Bring it on.