(c) 2016 TheDetroitBureau.com
When Hyundai rolled out its distinctive Vision-G Concept vehicle last summer it signaled changes afoot, something the Korean carmaker confirmed a few months later by announcing plans to spin off the all-new Genesis luxury division.
So, what to make of the equally eye-catching Genesis New York Concept making its debut, appropriately enough, in the Big Apple this week? Plenty. As TheDetroitBureau.com has learned from the proverbial “well-placed sources,” the new show car will morph into a production vehicle set to hit market sometime late in 2017 or early 2018.
The production version, known internally as the IK, and set to be badged the Genesis G70, will be what one source described as “our (BMW) 3-Series fighter.” More importantly, the underlying platform will serve as the basis of at least two additional Hyundai models, including a compact crossover and a new sports coupe.
Under the skin, meanwhile, the concept on display at the 2016 New York International Auto Show uses a 242 horsepower hybrid powertrain mating an electric motor with a 2.0-liter direct-injection I-4 and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
In production form, the G70 will offer several alternative powertrains, including a conventional gas engine. But, like virtually the entire Genesis line-up, TheDetroitBureau.com reveals, there will also be a high-performance powertrain to follow, modeled after the vaunted BMW M and Mercedes-AMG lines.
The G70 will be the third model in the growing Genesis family, following the initial G90, which targets the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the G80, the Korean luxury brand’s alternative to the 5-Series and E-Class.
In an interview following the reveal of the New York Concept, Hyundai’s corporate design chief Peter Schreyer confirmed that there are currently plans for six different Genesis product lines, including not only those three sedans but two SUVs and a coupe.
The latter will replace the old Hyundai Genesis Coupe. In production form it will share platforms with the new G70. That “architecture” also will serve as the foundation of the smaller of the two planned SUVs. Timing is unclear, Schreyer and Hyundai/Genesis sources saying only the most preliminary work has begun on those two models.
Like Hyundai, Genesis is “a very design-focused brand,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, the new head of the luxury brand. “Good design is memorable. It’s what will attract people to (our) brand in the first place.”
Based on the initial response to the New York Concept, Schreyer’s design team has delivered on those expectations. The show car features what the German executive calls a “shield grille,” surrounded by slit-like LED lamps.
The hood is long, adopting classic rear-wheel-drive proportions. The wheel arches flare outward and there’s a classic, large C-pillar. But in other ways, the concept breaks from tradition. There are broad and angular air intakes under the bumper. Air fed through the wheel arches to reduce drag exit from textured “gills” carved into the fenders.
“This is not a show car. It’s a glimpse into the future for Genesis,” senior designer Luc Donckerwolke declared during the concept’s debut.
That said, some of the more exotic details of the show car aren’t currently set for production. That includes not only those gills, but the edgy rear end. But that could change. Hyundai and Genesis officials will be closely gauging reaction to the New York Concept, sources said, especially the reaction to the tail. A positive response could lead them to finalize the production version closer to the look of the show car.