Volkswagen Golf GTI 2019 priced at $47,990 drive-away
Volkswagen Australia has introduced revised drive-away pricing for the 2019...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
The most outrageous car revealed at the New York Motor Show, the Genesis brand's electrifying Essentia Concept, is more than some pie-in-the-sky showcase. In fact, the full-EV GT car could be prowling Aussie roads as soon as 2021.
The two-door, four-seat stunner is the first all-electric vehicle from Genesis, albeit in concept form, and it is an absolute screamer; a carbonfibre rocket capable of demolishing the sprint to 60mph (96.5km/h) in just 3.0 seconds.
But the really good news? Genesis’ global chief, Manfred Fitzgerald, says the out-there Essentia is actually firmly rooted in reality, and if this toe-in-the-water concept is warmly received, there will be a production version prowling our roads within four years.
"I'm a true believer of these types of cars. I think they are the most emotional cars that a designer can push to do," he told CarsGuide.com.au.
“The reality (for that car) would be somewhere around 2021 or 2022. We are also launching two dedicated EV platforms in that year, and as this is a pure battery electric vehicle, it would be on that platform,”
There is more than a little bit of Batmobile in the swooping body styling of the Essentia, and so America’s Gotham City formed the perfect backdrop for its reveal. Its carbonfibre body virtually kisses the roadwork, with strip lighting replacing traditional headlights, and copper coating the alloys and body details.
And for once it’s not what’s under the bonnet, but the bonnet itself, which draws your attention. A see-through panel delivers a through-the-looking-glass view of the Essentia’s inner workings, including its exposed suspension componentry, while that gaping whale-shark grille - designed to ape a Formula One car - gives the all-electric concept a truly evil road presence.
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Genesis' design chief. "A Gran Turismo highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs, and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.”
Inside, the cabin has been stripped back to the essentials, with a flat-bottomed wheel perched in front of an 8.0-inch driver display. The front seats are trimmed in cognac leather, while a leather-wrapped centre console neatly splits the cabin in two. Even the seatbelt connectors are unique, forged out of polished aluminium, while layered carbon fibre decals gives the cabin a Magic Eye-style 3D effect.
“On the interior, purism has also dominated the creative process for the interior skin, the layer in contact with the occupants, but less traditionalist is the connection between the outside skin and the internal structure,” said Donckerwolke. "We connected both with our flowing G-Matrix that uses a dynamic web allowing lightness and internal air flow. This highlights the exciting opportunities being explored in 3D printing which transcends the lengthy, inflexible and costly tooling process.”
Acting as a technology showcase for Genesis, the Essentia is also the brand’s most-connected vehicle, with both vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle technology allowing it to not only dodge traffic snarls, but to use its onboard AI to select a drive route that matches the owner’s driving style. That same AI system can detect a driver’s mood, too, and conduct a two-way conversation with car's occupants.
Just to heap some extra pressure on the smoothly curved shoulders of the Essentia, Fitzgerald says this concept is not just intended as a Genesis halo product, but to also act as a kind of automotive defibrillator for the world’s flagging interest in cars.
“We want to see people in love with the products, and who don’t commoditise this kind of product as a means of transportation only. That’s how I see these new models evolving,” he said.
“I grew up in the days when we still had posters on the walls, and thinking about ‘when I grow up I want that type of car’. Those days are somewhat gone, and we’ve lost that kind of passion for products, which ultimately resulted in what you see out on the streets today.
“We would like to make a change. Our passion lives to inspire the younger generations and bring this desire back to them. To try and convey ultimately what a car can be. If we can try to instil that kind of desire and passion again, then that would be a tremendous success.
“That’s where the GT comes in. That’s the narrative of that car.”