Genesis Essentia: Electrifying concept shines
“Athletic Elegance” is the Genesis design mantra, and this New York show property lends drama to the concept. The Essentia concept is a battery electric car, a first for Genesis, in a sleek lightweight 4-passenger GT coupe with a carbon fiber monocoque and carbon fiber exterior panels, including butterfly doors.
Specifications are scarce. Genesis says only that the battery pack is housed in the car’s center tunnel, that propulsion entails multiple electric motors, and that the Essentia is capable of sprinting to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds.
Installing the battery pack in the center tunnel, rather than under the floor, allowed the design team to keep the car low, just 50 inches high. That, and the wide stance, long hood, and short rear deck give the Essentia a look that would be at home on a race track.
The nose suggests competition aerodynamics, managing air flow sweeping up and over the sleek body; the sloping hood is transparent, providing a look at the inboard racing-style suspension; and four slim headlights employ laser optics. A repeat of the Quad Lights seen on the 2017 GV80 concept wagon, the narrow lights are repeated at the rear.
Consistent with current concept car trends, the Essentia is chock-a-block with imaginative electronics. For example, the car’s computer brain stores the driver’s operating style tailoring vehicle responses to a particular route accordingly. Employing vehicle-to-vehicle communications, the system also keeps the driver informed about upcoming road conditions and helps avoid delays such as traffic congestion.
The advanced computer-based technology—dubbed Genesis Intelligent Assistant—is also capable of cyber mind-reading, interpreting the driver’s mood and managing vehicle operations to suit that mood. Vehicle control functions are accessed on an 8-inch center dash screen that displays only information relevant to driving.
The interior is also a festival of exotic trim details, including liberal use of carbon fiber, aluminum, Oxford blue cloth, and cognac-hued leather. According to executive VP Luc Donkerwolke, the Genesis design chief, the Essentia “highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs.”
Clearly the most exotic design to emerge from the Genesis design studios, the Essentia poses at least as many questions than it answers. For example, what is its production likelihood? It’s fair to say almost nil, as displayed in New York.
How about the possibility of a Genesis EV? Given current trends in vehicle electrification, that’s much more likely, although when is an unknown. EVs and hybrids have yet to appear in the company’s future product plans.
But it’s fair to speculate that at least some of Essentia’s infotainment, connectivity, and interior styling elements will appear in Genesis production models, perhaps as early as the 2020 model year.