Essentia coupe is also in the pipeline
The Genesis GV80 midsize SUV will arrive in the first quarter of 2020 in the North American market, with the GV70 compact SUV arriving in early 2021. But that’s just the start of a slew of new products.
In an interview, Genesis brand chief Manfred Fitzgerald confirmed that the automaker is “grinding” toward bringing concept vehicles like the Essentia coupe and Mint city-car to market.
“It’s just a matter of getting the (Essentia) powertrain equation right and defining which way we want to go with it,” Fitzgerald said from the sidelines of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “Some options we are still validating, as well as the whole chassis. Different configurations and different options are on the table.”
The even more far-out Mint city-car concept also has potential to reach market. With its small footprint, spacious interior, and innate practicality, “it hits all the marks,” Fitzgerald said. “This is what the future will hold. For people to limit the Genesis brand to what they see on the street, they will be definitely wrong.”
Although Fitzgerald declined to give a time table, he said the Mint “is equivalent with what we’re doing with Essentia. We’re trying to get the right packaging. There was a great positive market response where we’ve shown it.”
Also, the Genesis G90 flagship sedan, which won a comparison against the Lexus LS, Lincoln Continental, and BMW 7 Series, has already released its redesign for the Korean market; new models for the U.S. market will arrive in the fall.
As for the two SUVs on the way, Fitzgerald declined to provide powertrain details. Auto industry informants expect the GV80 to use the corporate 3.8-liter V-6 as its base engine, with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 a likely option.
Some testers have noted the G70 sedan being a tad underpowered in turbo-four form; would that preclude the GV70 compact crossover from having a four-cylinder powertrain? “We will let you be surprised with what we show,” Fitzgerald responded.
How Genesis will sell and service these vehicles will be an issue for the near term. Although the franchise has 315 dealers pretty much up and running, they are almost entirely run through an existing Hyundai showroom, which isn’t exactly a luxury experience. The brand is still getting its franchised dealers to establish standalone facilities and hire exclusive personnel, which Fitzgerald estimates will start to appear in the next 18 to 24 months.