We Didn’t Think it was Possible but Leaked Images of the 2019 Genesis G90 Reveals an Even Larger Grille
Genesis is taking the fight to Lexus in more ways than oneby Kirby Garlitos, on
Leaked photos of the updated Genesis G90 have made their way online, giving us a peak of what we can expect from the automaker’s flagship sedan. In the event that you’re not a fan of the big front grilles, now’s the time to look away. The G90 test mule is sporting some serious grille hardware. Not only does it look larger than Genesis’ previous big grilles, but it also takes up nearly the entire space of the sedan’s front area, leaving little real estate space for everything else. If Genesis leaves the grille for the production model, the G90 would arguably have one of the biggest grilles, not only in its segment but across the entire auto industry. Take that for what it’s worth.
It’s not uncommon for automakers these days to make statements through the size of the front grilles on their cars. Audi, for example, has evolved from a company that used to roll out small grilles into one that just can’t get enough of the big grilles. Seriously, look at every new Audi. It’s not just Audi, too. Toyota’s done the same with models like the Camry and Avalon. Even Bentley has caught the bug with the Bentayga sporting not one, not two, not three, but four grilles covering the front section of the luxe SUV. We can’t forget about Lexus, either. For better or worse, Toyota’s beauty brand is the poster child for mammoth grilles.
The big-grille trend didn’t just happen overnight, so we’re not going to hold it over any of these company’s heads. Instead, it evolved steadily over time. Back then, grilles were included in a car for functional purposes, specifically to create airflow under the hood to cool the engine.
Over time, though, the front grille has become an important design feature, largely because all of us imagine the front of cars as faces with the grille serving as the mouth, complementing the headlights, which our brains see as a car’s eyes.
Since then, automakers have taken great liberties creating unique grilles, with the current trend evolving into a “bigger is better” philosophy.
This brings us to the updated G90. Genesis’ flagship sedan isn’t lacking in the grille department. In fact, you can make a case that a designer must have gotten a little too grille-happy given the sheer size of that thing on the front of the G90. Fortunately, it actually looks good on the G90, size notwithstanding. It’s technically a huge pentagon, though most of us actually see it as an oversized version of Superman’s crest without the actual “S” inside it. I’m not particularly fond of the mesh design inside the grille because it’s a little too industrial for my liking. Bentley used the same design on the Bentayga and I’m not a fan of that, either.
That said, I do appreciate the bold direction Genesis is taking. Having such a large front grille helps bring more air into the engine so, functionally, it works. But even if the design is controversial, to say the least, Genesis found a way to make it work by keeping some design balance in the front. The wrap-around headlamps, for example, look large in their own right. Anything smaller would’ve ended up with the grille devouring the so-called “eyes” of the car. It’s hard to see from the spy photos we received, but there are also a few vents that extend across the lower section of the front bumper.
Over at the back, Genesis also adopted another trend that has taken the auto industry by storm: the end-to-end taillamps.
The good news is that this design suits the G90 pretty well. Designers even found a way to mix things up a bit, using only the lower section of the taillamps to stretch from one side of the trunk to the other, leaving space in the top part for the automaker’s name to be spelled out in wide letters. Nice touch.
Overall, the updated Genesis G90 looks like a big step up from its predecessor. The new front grille is bigger, sure, but it also gives the sedan more personality. That’s not really saying a lot because the current model looks about as bland as a cucumber, but the improvements extend to the rear section, too. The current G90’s rear end looks a lot like those old Mercedes rear sections, and that’s not regarded as a compliment. With its own version of the end-to-end taillamps, the new G90 now has an identity that it can all its own.
There’s no timetable on when the updated Genesis G90 will make its debut, but Hyundai has said that the sedan will go on sale in its home country of South Korea sometime in June 2019. Hopefully, a debut happens before that.
Read our full review of the outgoing 2018 Genesis G90.