IT’S officially a concept, but the unimaginatively named Genesis New York Concept is anything but.
Think BMW, Audi, Mercedes- Benz and Jaguar – they’re the marques Hyundai’s fledgling luxury brand has in its sights with the sweeping rear-drive four-door.
The company says the New York Concept (NYC) forms the basis for the upcoming Genesis G70, slated for production in 2017 and due in Australia the following year.
While it’s being touted as a crucial mainstream player against the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes- Benz C-Class, its sleek roofline will position it against sportier sedans such as the BMW 4 Series GT, Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A5.
While exact measurements are yet to be revealed, the G70 should be about 4.6m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m high. It will have a similar 2810mm wheelbase to the 3 Series.
Despite the claims of this being merely a design study, the G70 will maintain the overall stance and bold styling cues of the NYC when it hits showrooms, as our artist’s impression shows.
“This is the status of the brand Genesis – we’re not talking here about a production car, or not a show car; it’s about the status of what we’re working on for the future of the brand in terms of DNA,” Genesis designer Luc Donckerwolke told Wheels.
The former Bentley and Lamborghini man insists that Genesis models won’t suffer the same Russian Doll syndrome of many rivals, but instead have a unique identity in each segment.
“We won’t take one element and scale it,” he told us. “What we want to do is simply get the DNA right. This is basically the stance on the wheels, the muscles around the wheels, this elegance that we have been promoting … we won’t be a static brand; we will be quite dynamic in appearance.”
The 180kW 2.0-litre petrolelectric hybrid in the concept uses an eight-speed auto driving the rear wheels. But don’t expect to see that engine in Australiandelivered G70s, at least initially.
Hyundai Australia is pushing for the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 from the G90, which makes 272kW and 510Nm, lining it up against the BMW 340i, and upcoming Mercedes-AMG C43 and Audi S4.
The NYC’s interior hasn’t been spared. With leather upholstery and stainless steel-like finishes throughout, it features a digital speedo as part of a 21-inch 4K-resolution instrument cluster, with a wide-spoke ‘open’ steering wheel. The centre touchscreen can also be gesture-operated with swipes and sweeps.
The Genesis brand has a number of things in its favour.
After splitting from Hyundai as an official sub-brand last November, Genesis has poached some top brass from German rivals – including Donckerwolke and new company boss Manfred Fitzgerald – and announced a bold six-model line-up by 2020.
The G70 has been tasked with tackling Germany’s finest but won’t have anything like the model proliferation to take on BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
It’s expected to have far fewer engine options – the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 likely to be the sole choice initially – and body styles will be limited to the coupe-inspired four-door flagged
by the concept plus a traditional two-door coupe. A convertible is a possibility, but our spies tell us it’s still awaiting sign-off. Don’t expect a wagon or regular threebox sedan, either.
Not that the G70 won’t be pulling its weight. The rear-drive architecture will also underpin at least one SUV.
The Genesis family is set for considerable expansion judging by recent nameplate registrations with IP Australia. In the mix is GC70 (the coupe version of G70) and GV70, which we’re guessing is the SUV. Less obvious are GT70 and a bunch of presumably higher performance ‘4’ models – GC74 and GT74.