Mean, green, high-po machine

Genesis to use hybrids for speed, not just saving the planet

TOBY HAGON

LUXURY brand Genesis is planning a low-emissions future based on high performance.

The brand plans to lead the way with alternative powertrain technology within the Hyundai group as it looks to establish itself against competitors such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus.

And it’s in the performance sphere where the likes of plug-in hybrid technology and pure electric propulsion could make its biggest impact for the Korean marque that arrives in 2017.

Speaking to Wheels, Genesis chief Manfred Fitzgerald said PHEVs and EVs would play a key role in redefining performance.

“Performance as we know it is in the past,” Fitzgerald said. “I think it will shift to ... performance in terms of having a very well balanced car, performance in terms of handling.

“Sheer horsepower, sheer velocity, that’s not going to be the game-changer.”

He said PHEV, EV and hydrogen fuel cell are technologies that will play a role in a family of highperformance Genesis models.

“That is definitely something that we’re looking very closely at.”

Fitzgerald said Genesis would take a leading position on technology and alternative drivetrain tech within Hyundai.

“We are definitely at the forefront … and with this kind of brand as we position ourselves within the corporation we are definitely meant to be at the forefront of technology.”

Fitzgerald hinted that Genesis was positioning itself for big shifts brought about by stricter emissions legislation.

“There will be a shift from ICEs to PHEVs and then ultimately to EVs and maybe, in the not so far future, also fuel cells. The next big step will be the next generation of batteries and battery capacity, and that’s what we’re anticipating in a couple of years’ time.”

Just letters and numbers

Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald has snubbed the idea of a sub-brand for its upcoming performance and hybrid models, instead relying on an alphanumeric naming strategy.

“I’m not a big fan of subbrands ... we’re just setting up right now our Genesis brand and that’s a big enough challenge.

“Creating something under that definitely would not make sense.”

Genesis has registered dozens of names with IP Australia. There’s the G90 (a facelifted Hyundai Genesis) and G70, a production version of the New York Concept.

Also on the list is GC60 to GC90 for new coupes, with larger numbers denoting larger vehicles.

Then there’s GT60 to GT90 for sleeker sedans and GV60 to GV90 for SUVs. i f