The concept “SUV coupe” that Genesis showed off this week ahead of the New York International Auto Show is not an electric vehicle, and it’s not practical. It is gorgeous, however, and it looks fast. And it will soon go into production.
The hood was closed and nobody would say what engine was powering the fastback crossover. The regular GV80 SUV has a twin-turbo V6 that produces 375 horsepower, but the Coupe is more likely to use the 409-horsepower twin-turbo V6, boosted by an electronic supercharger, that is under the hood of the current G90 sedan. All will be revealed “soon – very soon,” said Luc Donckerwolke, chief creative officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
“It’s not a secret – this is not just a pure design exercise. This is coming. What you see is a letter of intent for a more emotional typology in our lineup. We have sedans and SUVs, but no coupes,” he said.
“We’re trying to be unique and design driven. Nobody needs another premium brand that’s doing the same thing as the others..”
Strictly speaking, the GV80 Coupe concept is not a coupe because it has four doors, though no one seems to care about such terms anymore. There are four bucket seats inside and a cross-brace behind the second row, but that takes up space in the luggage area and is unlikely to make it to production.
The GV80 would compete directly against the emotional sport crossovers of the German brands, including the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 and Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe. The concept at the launch event, which was later parked on the auto show floor, was bright orange, named “Magma” for its molten lava colour and about as subtle as a kick in the head to the Germans.
How come it’s powered by gas? Surely, an internal combustion engine is yesterday’s technology when it comes to introducing new cars?
“The purpose was to really highlight the emotional side of the design of the vehicle,” said Eric Marshall, director of Genesis Canada.
“The focus was to show the prowess of the design capabilities of the company. It’s an evolution. The company started with sedans and evolved into introducing SUVs, and now this is the next step. It shows we can introduce performance-driven design into the existing lineup of vehicles that we have. It’s opening the door to the future.”
Last year, Genesis revealed the X Speedium Coupe and X Convertible concepts, and the GV80 Coupe is inspired by both of them. It has muscular haunches around its wheels and an aggressive “ducktail” spoiler, and there are carbon fibre touches everywhere.
It’s possible this is the last gas-powered vehicle that Genesis will introduce. The company, which is the luxury division of Hyundai Motor Group, has committed to put all its investments into electric vehicles by the end of 2025. By 2030, it will not sell any vehicles that are powered by gasoline.
Might the GV80 Coupe concept evolve into an all-electric vehicle? It’s currently built on Genesis’s rear-wheel drive platform, but an electric version could transition to whatever platform the company uses for its next mid-sized SUV.
“I would definitely hope. It’s a beautiful vehicle and it would be great for our lineup,” said Marshall. “As we introduce our new generation of electric vehicles, I think we’ll see a lot of the (design) cues of the new generation come through.”