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Genesis Mint Concept is the BMW i3-fighting city car with a supercar boot

The scissor doors are actually used to access the car's rear storage

Genesis has offered the first look at its future design direction, unveiling the sleek Mint Concept on the eve of the New York Motor Show.

And while it might look like a never-to-be-made motor show concept, the brand says the Mint Concept will feed a future product, though what and when that is remains to be seen.

Hyundai’s premium arm says the Mint is Genesis’ “ideal city car”: a pure EV that delivers a full 322km in driving range, and that is set-up for 350kW ultra-fast recharging.

“As a brand, Genesis embraces progressive design values, and the Mint Concept reinforces this commitment from a previously undiscovered perspective,” says global head of Genesis, Manfred Fitzgerald. “Mint belongs in the city, and we are proud to introduce our evolution of the ideal city car in New York.”

The roof of the Mint is almost entirely glass. The roof of the Mint is almost entirely glass.

The two-door, two-seat EV was penned by the brand's global design studios, with input from Germany, the USA and South Korea - part of a “holistic” design process that has resulted in a seriously attractive city-car concept, and one with some weird and wonderful features. 

There’s no traditional boot, for example. Instead, two tiny, rear-hinged hidden doors swing skyward (like a supercar, only in reverse) so you can access the storage space behind the front seats.

Those huge and gleaming alloys have been pushed to the furthest corners of the car, too, and the mesh-like detailing (Genesis calls it a "G-Matrix pattern") that runs along the bottom of the body is actually venting to send cool air rushing over the batteries.

The roof is almost entirely glass, too, while what Genesis describes as "quad lamps” - a layered light design that has two headlights meet in the middle before streaking diagonally away from each other - appear both front and rear, and are joined by a strip of LED lighting that stretches the width of the bonnet and the boot. 

Also cool is the fact the bench seat automatically swivels towards you when you open the door, making it easier to get in and out of.

Genesis describes the Mint - which is smaller than Hyundai's Kona SUV - as a “lightweight runabout”, which probably doesn’t do it appropriate justice. 

“The Mint Concept is a new urban icon that marries classic proportions with forward-looking, minimalist design,” says the brand's design chief, Luc Donckerwolke.

Rear storage is accessed by two tiny, rear-hinged hidden doors. Rear storage is accessed by two tiny, rear-hinged hidden doors.

“The Mint Concept instantly finds purpose and meaning in the city, just as so many people who call the world’s most densely populated metropolises home.

“The interior styling of the Mint Concept takes influence from the Korean tradition of embracing the empty space, as well as modern European furniture design."

Inside, the cabin is awash with cognac leather, while the frameless windows and glass roof are designed to give a sense of airiness. It’s also minimalist in the extreme; there's no centre console or drive tunnel, with the key car controls mounted alongside the oblong steering wheel, displayed on six individual screens that display all the driving infortmaiton.

  • The interior is awash with cognac leather. The interior is awash with cognac leather.
  • There's no centre console with controls mounted alongside the steering wheel and information is displayed on six individual screens. There's no centre console with controls mounted alongside the steering wheel and information is displayed on six individual screens.

Now, it must be said that not all of the weird and wonderful features will make a production vehicle, but that doesn’t mean we won't be seeing a version of the Mint in Australia at some point in the future.

First, though, the brand has to officially launch in Australia, which is pencilled in for June this year. The range will initially consist of the G70 and G80 sedans, but two as-yet-unseen SUVs will join the fleet by 2021.

“The Genesis Mint concept represents the future for luxurious all-electric city cars and while it has not yet been confirmed for production, we will be lobbying Genesis HQ to try and make it happen,” says the brand's local spokesperson, Guido Schenken. 

“We’re actively pushing to bring all future Genesis models to Australia; we’re extremely excited by the brand’s potential locally.”

Does the Genesis Mint make the future of city cars look bright? Tell us in the comments below.