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"We don't do show business": Genesis's new Bentley Bentayga-rivalling luxury SUV to feature ground-breaking show car style and technology, but will the rear-opening doors make it to production?

Genesis is confident it can put the spectacular pillarless doors of the Neolun concept into production.

Genesis will look to redefine itself with its flagship luxury SUV likely to push the brand into previously uncharted territory, in terms of both potential rivals and price. 

The Neolun Concept revealed at the New York International Auto Show features striking, rear-opening doors, which remove the so-called ‘B-pillar’ to create a vast opening to enter the spacious four-seat cabin. This stunning technical achievement isn’t just for the show car, with Genesis Chief Creative Officer, Luc Donckerwolke, making it clear the unique doors will make it to the production car.

“Yes,” Donckerwolke told Australian media, including CarsGuide. “I mean, we're not doing show cars now, we don’t do show business. We have basically utilised this platform to make a car, which will be the pinnacle of the Genesis line-up. We have basically defined the brand with the core products and then we are adding satellites. One is the luxury, so we have the G90 long wheelbase. We have the ‘one of one’ program, where you can customise your G90 long wheelbase. What we have now is something which is above the G90 and above the normal line-up, which is going to be the flagship of the brand. And the coach door is part of the project.”

This breaking body style will likely add to the price, which will almost certainly push the brand even further upmarket and potentially put the production version of the Neolun above $250,000 and into direct competition with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover.

Asked if opting for the pillarless doors would make it more expensive to produce, Donckerwolke was blunt.

“Yes, it is,” he said. "Because we have to ensure that the main goal was if we do a B-pillarless car, it has to be not only as safe as a car would be, but it has to be actually safer to compensate for the perception of maybe more fragility of the body-in-white.”

Genesis will look to redefine itself with its flagship luxury SUV.

This added cost also means the pillarless doors look set to be a unique element of the production version of the Neolun and not trickle down into any other Genesis models, and certainly no Hyundais.

“It’s not planned like this. No, it's just for that flagship,” Donckerwolke said. “It's because, you know the coach doors are linked to, for instance in this case for a two or four seater. If we do a three row, they would have conventional doors.”

He added: “I mean, it is something obviously we are differentiating our brands from top down in terms of technology, design and features. Some elements, we will be introducing elements that will then cascade down on the other models of the group. But there are technologies due to the price that we need to keep for Genesis.”

The hi-tech twist does create more questions surrounding Genesis’ future large SUV plans. As we reported previously, it was suggested by sources that the Neolun previewed a potential GV90 upper-large SUV that would sit above the current GV80. However, if the pillarless doors go into production it will likely mean a sizeable price gap between the GV80 and the Neolun production version, which would leave space for a more conventionally doored, three-row SUV.

“Maybe,” was Donckerwolke’s answer.

So it remains possible that Genesis will offer a pair of larger SUVs in the coming years, with a more conventional GV90, to compete against the likes of the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, and a production version of the Neolun to sit above it as a flagship.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and...
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