In step with their growing presence in the North American market, Genesis chose the New York Auto Show to unveil their new Essentia concept car. While concept cars can often seem like a gimmick intended to grab headlines during an auto show, for a young brand like Genesis, the Essentia signals not only their perspective on a luxury grand touring coupe, but also a new design language for their expanding lineup.
First things first, the Essentia is drop-dead gorgeous. Looking unlike anything in the current Genesis line up, the Essentia is low, with a raked roofline that flows beautifully along a glass canopy and into a cutback tail. While details like the laser optic headlights and the complex copper-tone wheels are decidedly futuristic, the Essentia’s silhouette is rather old school, with sloping fenders, a low profile, and a sort of modern spin on a Kammback tail.
As Genesis’ first electric vehicle, the Essentia has been designed with a carbon fibre monocoque body, dramatic butterfly doors, and a minimal but luxurious interior said to be inspired by high fashion. As far as halo cars go, a striking grand tourer is a proven way of establishing a design language through a product that is often less compromised than that of the traditional passenger sedan. Consider Lexus with the LC500, BMW with the forthcoming 8-series, or Mercedes and the luxurious AMG S63 Coupé.
While certain details are decidedly futuristic, the Essentia’s silhouette is rather old school, with sloping fenders, a low profile, and a sort of modern spin on a Kammback tail.
Genesis plans to fit the Essentia with multiple electric motors to provide a high-performance benchmark that matches its eye-catching design. With a roofline that sits just 127 centimetres off the ground, the battery pack is placed along the center of the car (not unlike the path of a traditional transmission tunnel), making way for the low stance and open cabin design. The interior appears to have ample room for passengers and the glass roof provides an airy feel to the cabin.
Being a big luxurious GT, all sorts of technology is planned for the eventual road-going version of the Essentia. The concept shows a wide panel of digital displays that are nicely integrated into the dashboard and provide functionality for all passengers. The interior design is refined and decluttered, offering fewer buttons and a simplified user experience. While this is all par for the course when it comes to concept cars, these dream designs often hinge on addressing the problem points in current-day automotive design.
Genesis calls the Essentia’s design language “athletic elegance” and with a sporty but not over-designed look, it’s easy to imagine elements of the Essentia’s design being ported to a variety of other vehicles in Genesis’ line up. With EVs on the horizon for most major manufacturers, concept cars like the Essentia highlight the design possibilities outside of the traditional sedan form.
Given Genesis’ short history as a standalone entity, the Essentia is unencumbered by legacy design, vintage reference, or even an entirely solidified brand expectation. While Genesis is not sharing any hard dates for the production or availability of the Essentia, they are planning to have six new models on the market by 2021. If we’re lucky, it might only be a few years until we see something like the Essentia on the street.
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