Hyundai’s tough ladder-frame rival for the LandCruiser 300 Series and Nissan Patrol could spawn a luxury-soaked Genesis version, giving the Korean premium brand an answer to vehicles like the Lexus LX and the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.
That’s the word from Genesis’ Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke, who says he has sketches of a Genesis-badged off-roader ready to go, while at the same time hinting that a true Hyundai Group 4WD is coming by saying that he couldn’t talk about it “yet”.
If and when that model appears, it will be on the table for a Genesis version, with Mr Donckerwolke saying “I don’t see why it wouldn’t fit the brand”.
“I cannot talk about that yet” he said. “But it’s always the same thing — we make synergies within our group, and when we see that there is a potential to utilise (a vehicle), when this is inline with the brand values, why not?
“I don’t see why it would not fit the brand. We have a defined line-up of vehicles, and whether there are extra satellites that will add to that, this is something to be discussed, but first we have to do the homework.”
A ladder-frame 4WD has long been rumoured at Hyundai and Kia, with the work going into the latter’s dual-cab ute expected to be adopted into an off-road-focused SUV.
And with Genesis on board, the model could be among the most powerful in Australia. Genesis uses a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline-six engine, good for a substantial 205kW and 588Nm, in its GV80, for example. And then there’s the not-so-small matter of that same model’s lusty twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6. That engine produces a significant 279kW and 530Nm, fed through an eight-speed auto and sent to all four wheels.
The only question Mr Donckerwolke has to answer is whether the model would be the "right genetic fit" with the brand.
"If you have a G-Wagon, for example, then this car is justified because of its heritage, even more than because of its performance," he says.
"To plug something artificially into a brand could be a mistake if it does not have the right genetic fit with the brand. As a design? Yes? As a business opportunity, that’s another story."
That said, the design guru says he has sketches of a Genesis 4WD ready to go so he'll "never be caught not prepared when the chairman asks me 'what if?'"
Will we see a Genesis answer to the Lexus LX? We'll have to wait and see.