Hyundai established its upmarket Genesis division to lock horns with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. All three brands sell more crossovers and SUVs than sedans in America, so the burgeoning South Korean firm is preparing two high-riding models it hopes will hit the competition where it hurts.
The first Genesis-branded soft-roader will borrow key styling cues and its name from the GV80 concept (pictured) unveiled during the 2017 New York auto show. Motor Trend learned it will begin arriving in showrooms in early 2020, meaning it will break cover before the end of 2019, possibly at the Los Angeles auto show opening in November. The concept’s high-tech, hydrogen-powered drivetrain won’t make the leap from the show floor to the showroom floor, however.
Most examples will come with a V6 engine – a V8 is unlikely at best – and a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid model could add electrification to the SUV’s resume later in the production run. When it lands, it will compete in the same market segment as the Q7, the X5, and the GLE.
The model offensive will continue in 2021 with the launch of a compact crossover tentatively called GV70. Little is known about the model, and we haven’t even seen it as a concept yet. But Motor Trend added the two GVs will represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Many of the company’s recent concept cars are currently zig-zagging towards production, bouncing back and forth between the requirements of executives, the dreams of engineers, and the realities of the new car market.
The on-again, off-again Essentia coupe that stole the spotlight at the 2018 edition of the New York show will add a dose of emotion to the Genesis range when it makes its debut in the early 2020s, according to the magazine. And the Mint is the latest concept to escape from the minds of the company’s design team. It’s a city car, though it’s not shaped like a conventional econobox, and it might get fast-tracked to production, too.
What remains to be see is whether the Mint will join its peers in American showrooms. None of the German brands that Genesis identifies as rivals sell their smallest models here.