Genesis unveiled its Essentia Concept at the New York International Auto Show last week. The all-electric, high-performance concept provides a vision of future Genesis product performance and technology.
“We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasising a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “This is what the Genesis Essentia Concept is all about, and we are thrilled to introduce our interpretation of an all-electric, two-door Gran Turismo here in New York.”
Essentia is the brand’s first battery electric vehicle and features a lightweight carbon-fibre monocoque, a multi-motor electric powertrain, and a ‘custom-tailored’ interior.
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters,” said Executive Vice President Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Genesis Design. “A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.”
Throughout the design, the philosophy of ‘Athletic Elegance’ had a prominent role, ‘marrying power and precision through artistry’. Essentia takes its inspiration from iconic Gran Turismo proportions, with a long bonnet and a swept-back cabin. The car sits low to the ground intentionally, to give it a graceful silhouette.
The carbon fibre chassis is visible through the transparent hood, and the vehicle has a pronounced formula car-style nose cone, as well as exposed, pushrod suspension. Intakes positioned left and right of the grille function as air curtains, streamlining airflow around the front corners.
Flanking the grille are signature Genesis Quad Lights, first introduced on the GV80 Concept. Made possible by laser optical technology, the extremely thin, flush headlights are integrated into the body, extending onto a side blade aft of the front wheels. Functional air outlets located just behind the front wheels reduce pressure build-up and contribute to reduced drag.
The side profile is dominated by a parabolic line that ‘provides visual structure to the body’ while also emphasising its overall length. Butterfly doors make for ‘effortless’ ingress and egress, while a sensor mounted in the B-pillar integrates fingerprint controls and biometric facial recognition for opening and closing the doors.
The rear of the car is defined by an aerodynamic cut-off surface that houses the flush rear Quad Lights. A rear diffuser surrounded by carbon fibre acts as a clever, integrated venting solution for the rear wheel arch.
The underlying design theory behind the cabin of Essentia was to ‘maximise the connection between car and driver’ and reduce clutter.
“On the interior, we connected both with our flowing G-Matrix that uses a dynamic web allowing lightness and internal air flow. This highlights the exciting opportunities being explored in 3D printing which transcends the lengthy, inflexible and costly tooling process,” explains Donckerwolke.
A slim centre console covered in Oxford Blue leather bisects the cabin. The front and rear seat belt slots are out of the ordinary as well, composed of glass pearl finished/treated aluminium and polished aluminium. Layered carbon fibre décor adds a sporty element to the interior details, with a 3D optical effect achieved through the latest technology of layering individual pieces of carbon.
Ahead of the driver is an 8-inch display operated by a central controller: the information in the cluster includes only what is necessary for driving.
In line with Essentia’s purpose as a ‘true’ grand tourer, a luggage compartment behind the rear seats affords cargo room for a weekend road trip.
Underneath the carbon-fibre monocoque is a state-of-the-art, high-density battery pack and multiple electric motors that enable “a powerful, confident driving experience”. The electric powertrain allowed Genesis Design to redefine classic GT proportions with an extremely low, transparent hood that flows seamlessly into the windshield and the ‘bubble’ roof.
The battery pack is housed in the centre tunnel, as opposed to underneath the passenger compartment. This allows for the super-low, 50-inch roofline and spacious, GT-style cabin. With an estimated 0-to-60 time of 3.0 seconds, Essentia “brings sports car-level performance to the realm of electric luxury coupes”.
Essentia was designed to be thoroughly connected to the world around it, focusing on the connection between the vehicle and its environment.
Advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle technology mean that the car can inform the driver of up-to-the-minute road conditions and help avoid accidents and traffic jams. Instead of simply providing the quickest or most efficient route, Essentia uses machine learning intelligence to recommend routes based on driver inclination.
When the route is chosen, Essentia automatically tailors the driving character to its owner’s preference for that road. “From seat position to powertrain performance and audiophile system to chassis settings, the joy of the journey deserves technology to match”.
Essentia also integrates with smart homes and devices and AI likewise plays a critical role in the car’s technological capabilities. Voice recognition and the next-generation Genesis Intelligent Assistant allow for two-way dialogue and full vehicle control through voice command, as well as analysis of individual driving behaviour and driver mood.