Genesis tells us having a sports car is incredibly important to the brand.
As the Genesis G70 continues to rack up accolades left and right, many are wondering what the Korean luxury automaker's next model will be. Based on industry trends and previously leaked documents, two SUVs will likely be the next products we see from Genesis. Once these SUVs are released, the third product from Genesis is set to be something to please enthusiasts - a luxury sports coupe.
In our conversations with Erwin Raphael, Executive Director of Genesis Motor America, we learned how important a sports car is to the Genesis brand and why this upcoming model will be something to look forward to.
We have already seen what kind of beautiful sports car Genesis is able to create with the Essentia Concept (pictured here). While the concept employs multiple electric motors, the production car may use some form of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Raphael told us "I do think it is incredibly important to have a sports car - a high-performance, purebred sports car. Even something with electrified powertrains. We think the market is going that way with the low-end torque. The responsiveness is important for a sports car."
In regards to future body styles, "a sports car would likely be a coupe but a coupe for the sake of having one - I don't know," said Raphael. Having a sports car in the Genesis lineup is "a completely different issue from a coupe and having a coupe strategy."
Even though the company's internal documents previously stated that a coupe model was in the pipeline, perhaps Genesis is thinking outside of the box with something different. We have already seen how well the G70 sedan has faired against longstanding rivals such as the BMW 3 Series, so perhaps this upcoming sports car could be a four-door coupe version of the G70 with an electrified powertrain. "It has to be the right coupe, it has to make the right statement, and it has to be done correctly," said Raphael.
Many people have been wondering if Genesis would create a separate performance brand to sell this new sports car or even a higher-performance version of the G70. "We have no plans at this point in time," Raphael told us. "We can move the dynamic drive and push it far enough that we don't need a separate division."
Frankly, we don't think Genesis needs a separate division to compete with M or AMG. A newer performance division will always struggle to compete with the established brand recognition and racing pedigree of M or AMG, so there really doesn't seem like much of a point for Genesis to grab a letter from the alphabet and use it to compete. Many people are still unfamiliar with the Lexus F brand, which has only been around since 2007.
Hyundai previous sold a sports car called the Genesis coupe under its non-luxury nameplate but the Genesis brand has since branched out to become a separate luxury automaker, so we doubt this new coupe model from Genesis will borrow the same name. Up until now, Genesis models have used an alphanumeric name with the letter 'G and the upcoming SUVs will likely adopt the letters 'GV.'
"But that doesn't mean all of our cars will be alphanumeric," said Raphael. While it's hard to predict the Essentia name making it all the way to production, the Genesis brand certainly hasn't ruled it out.