If this is the GT car we can expect from Genesis, sign us up!

There’s no denying that Hyundai has made huge steps in the way of shedding its econobox past and when turned the Genesis name into a standalone brand, it was finally able to compete with the big boys. Now, Genesis is looking even further into the future with the Essentia Concept and boy does it put some of the vision concepts we’ve seen from other big brands to shame. It’s got the right proportions, all the luxury you would need, and there are even butterfly doors in the mix. Genesis hasn’t disclosed much in the way of performance specs, but it does promise a 60-mph sprint of just 3.0-seconds, putting it deep into supercar territory. Even more interesting is the fact that Genesis Boss, Manfred Fitzgerald, is pushing for this thing to go into production. What a time to be alive, huh?

2019 Genesis Essentia Exterior

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept
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It’s a one-off concept, but the body itself seems damn near ready for production

In a world where opinion of what’s most important varies from person to person, automakers need to do their best to appeal to everyone. Genesis took the first step in doing just that by providing one of the most interesting, yet feasible, interiors that we’ve seen on a concept car in a long, long time. Sure, the butterfly doors are a little extreme, and the vents behind the front wheels are a bit much. Hell, even the nose sits low and offers some unique character. But, none of this is outside the realm of reality. The body is all carbon fiber, and it rides on a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis too. That’s part of what creates the beauty though.

It’s a one-off concept, but the body itself seems damn near ready for production. None of the body lines are too extreme, and it’s got that true GT-car appeal to it. The rear haunches are very muscular, but those large wheels require such a thing while the rear end itself reminds a bit of something you would see on an Aston Martin. Not that it’s a bad thing, but that 50-inch roof line is crazy and allows for a real coupe look (and finally, one without four doors.) The rear deck, if that’s what you would call it, is fashioned into a huge, permanent spoiler, but that’s just one of the Essentia’s many aerodynamic features.

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept
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An official production model would probably lose the butterfly doors

The front end, for example, is designed specifically with airflow in mind. Air flows inward through the nose and is actually evacuated through those aforementioned vents behind the front wheels. And, don’t forget about the headlights borrowed from the GV80 concept. Even the front spoiler is subtle and unique. All of which leads to the reasoning behind nearly everything you see here being considered production ready.

An official production model would probably lose the butterfly doors, and would – naturally – need to have rear door handles and side view mirrors, but it’s not too outlandish to hope for a production model. The front end would also have to be reworked a bit to comply with current DOT standards for headlights and markers, but some 70-percent of this concept could see production on a stand-alone model. Not bad, Genesis, not bad.

2019 Genesis Essentia Interior

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept Interior
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The cabin features a wraparound look but also feels like it has a drop-in cage that includes two seats.

The interior of the Essentia Concept is even more interesting than the exterior. The cabin features a wraparound look but also feels like it has a drop-in cage that includes two seats. The door trim, seats, dash, and even the central armrest all appear to be one piece with just a couple of seams here and there. The dashboard is dominated by a massive display screen with the instrument cluster taking a tablet-like form that’s actually somewhat bland but thin. Where there isn’t leather, there are carbon fiber fins, as you can see below the door trim and below the A-pillars. The steering wheel is oval shaped with a flat bottom and the bottom of the front seats, if you cut them away from the rest of the vehicle, remind me of a 70s-era kitchen chair.

On that note, it seems odd that the seats don’t offer more support up top. The backrests, for example, lack any real side support and it’s hard to imagine that this kind of seating layout would actually be comfortable. Just looking at them makes my back hurt worse than it did the last time I shoehorned myself into a Volkswagen Rabbit. On the plus side, there is a steering wheel and set of pedals, so this isn’t one of those self-driving cars, and it might actually be something you could enjoy driving, albeit with different seats, perhaps.

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept Interior
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Those seats, however, will never happen

In the end, this is a nice interior, and some of it is feasible. The large display that runs the width of the dash, the tablet-like instrument cluster, even the center console are all potential candidates for production. Those seats, however, will never happen, and I wouldn’t expect to see that bulky trim that surrounds the whole interior to make it there either.

2019 Genesis Essentia Performance

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept
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Genesis didn’t say much of anything in terms of performance except that it can hit the 60-mph sprint in three seconds

This is a concept, and a one-off concept at that, so don’t burn me at the stake for the lack of information in this section. Genesis didn’t say much of anything in terms of performance except that it can hit the 60-mph sprint in three seconds. It does have a “state-of-the-art” high-density battery, and “multiple electric motors.” Of course, that comes with all the PR goo you want including that it “will enable a powerful, confident driving experience.”

Outside of this, we know that the battery pack is housed in the center tunnel (where a traditional longitudinal transmission would sit) in an “I-shape structure.” That’s it. No horsepower specs, no top speed, no torque figures; nothing. As I said, it’s a one-off concept, so what do you expect?

Final Thoughts

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept Exterior
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The Essentia Concept is quite a looker, and it has a nice interior too. But, as a one-off concept, designed around its very one monocoque chassis, it’s not based on anything Genesis, Hyundai, or even Kia have in their lineup. That means for it to go into production, the brand will have to develop an all-new architecture or, if it’s possible, adapt this design to a platform that’s already in use. Neither will be easy or cheap, so while Mr. Fitzgerald is pushing for this thing to go into production as the waters are tested, we’re more likely to see pieces of it shift into production on other cars as opposed to seeing a full-scale production model that looks just like this. Either way, we’ll take what we can get because it is awesome, but I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting the whole thing to go into production.

  • Leave it
    • * Seats look uncomfortable
    • * No performance specs
    • * Probably won’t see production

References

Genesis Steps Up To Take A Swing At SUVs With The Sleek GV80 Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the 2017 Genesis GV80 Concept.

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept Exterior
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The Genesis Essentia Concept Is The Outrageously Gorgeous EV Concept We Need

2018 Genesis Essentia Concept
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The Essentia Proves Genesis Has What It Takes To Hang With The Big Boys

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Read more Genesis news.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

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