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The Genesis Essentia Concept is a stunning show car

by Ben Hsu

The design will inform future generations of Genesis road cars.

Genesis unveiled stunning a new electric grand tourer show car at the New York International Auto Show. The stunning Essentia Concept is unlikely to see production, but it gives an idea of where the nascent luxury marque would like to go.

The Essentia embodies classic GT proportions, sleek and low with a long deck and muscular rear haunches. A striking glass bubble roof extends down past the cowl and over where a hood would be, but because this is an electric car there is no engine to be seen. Instead, elements of a pushrod suspension found on race cars peek through.

Genesis says that the Essentia is powered by a mutli-motor electric powertrain, with batteries laid in an "I" pattern along where the transmission and driveshaft would be, rather than under the passenger compartment. The position allows for an extremely low profile measuring just 50 inches in overall height. Theoretically, the 0-60 time is "an estimated 3.0 seconds," but the powertrain isn't really the point.

The point is the styling, which will inform future Genesis cars. Notably, elements like the Genesis crest grille and a parabolic shoulder line — the designers wanted to be explicitly anti-wedge, where the beltline rises towards the rear — will percolate down from this design study. While a grille isn't necessary for an EV, in this case it creates airflow through the the front pontoon fenders.

Another trademark is the quad lights, which cleverly extend into the fender for use as side repeaters, obviating the need for a fake vent or turn signals on mirrors. The quad light motif continues on the taillights as well. They first appeared on the 2017 Genesis GV80 SUV concept.

Entering through dramatic butterfly doors, the Essentia's interior features remarkably little clutter. A large curved-glass interface stretches the width of the dashboard. The center console features only four levers, for gear selection and climate control, and a round dial that handles auxiliary functions.

Cognac leather seats contrast with Oxford Blue velvet rears, while the dashboard features recycled carbon fiber. The pillars are pencil-thin, while the glass bubble canopy creates an airy atmosphere reminiscent of 1960s GTs.

Currently, there isn't much overlap between the Essentia and production Genesis sedans. However, designers say that elements of this design study will make their way into the next generation of road cars.