From Genesis to revelation

Soon-to-arrive luxury brand Genesis is preparing a 350kW-plus hybrid fl agship to outgun Kia’s Stinger GT

TOBY HAGON

12 HYUNDAI’S high-performance, rear-drive response to the Kia Stinger GT will pick up more luxury, more features and the option of a V8-bashing hybrid drivetrain – plus, it won’t even wear a Hyundai badge.

The hotly anticipated twinturbocharged V6 engine that will appear in the Genesis G70 – the 3 Series-rivalling small sedan due later this year to spearhead Hyundai’s new luxury brand – is set to get an electric upgrade as part of an alternative drivetrain performance push.

And Wheels can reveal there will also be a sleek coupe bodystyle of the G70, likely to be called GT70, to act as the model range’s performance flagship. A cabriolet spinoff that could be badged GC70, is also under discussion.

The GT70 is set to arrive as a fiercely priced BMW 4 Series, Audi A5 and Merc C-Class coupe rival.

Speaking at the recent New York motor show, Genesis chief Manfred Fitzgerald confirmed hybrid and electric drivetrains would form a crucial part of the six-model Genesis range (see sidebar p14).

First to arrive will be the G70 from late this year, with an update to the current Hyundai Genesis, badged G80, to follow.

“Alternative propulsion systems are at the core of this brand,” Fitzgerald said. “The internal combustion engine’s dominance of performance [is] going to go away.”

In its standard guise, the 3.3- litre twin-turbo V6 (set to debut in the Stinger within months) pumps out 276kW and 510Nm, the latter on tap from 1300rpm.

Even a modest hybrid upgrade will push that even higher.

Of course, the hybrid system – likely to be a plug-in set-up that allows some all-electric driving for about 50km – will add weight, something that will take the nfirmed etrains t ge rive s e ged ve erald bustion dard rbo r 76kW est en km hat

HURRY UP AND WAIT

The arrival of Genesis in Australia has been pushed back a few months while the brand awaits the G70, at which point the current Hyundai Genesis will be rebranded Genesis G80.

Rather than rolling out a single model that was unlikely to have broad appeal, Genesis made the call to wait for the more relevant G70 and come out with a bigger bang.

Under the guidance of former Toyota Australia executive Peter Evans, Genesis Australia executive Peter Evans, Genesis is also finalising its dealer network, a crucial part of the luxury pitch.

Evans has experience in establishing premium brands, having been involved foundations and later in charge of marketing for Lexus Australia. with Lexus from its 1990 foundati fo

SALMON STREET SCION N

There’s an Australian connection at Genesis, in the form of designer, Lee SangYup.

The South Korean-born designer once worked at Holden in Port Melbourne where he was tasked with designing the production version of the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro that was based on the VE Commodore’s Zeta architecture.

“I love Australia,” SangYup told Wheels of his two years Melbourne, where he took the 2006 Detroit concept from motor show starlet to showroom star.

SangYup’s CV includes stints at Pininfarina, Porsche and Bentley, but he rates the challenge of crafting an all-new brand as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

“Previously I’ve worked in companies with a long history and lots of heritage and sometimes it becomes a weight when you design something.”

As well as a challenge, he sees it as an enormous opportunity and one he is insistent will be tackled differently to other brands. nnection f n uction ration Yup ars in k m m e d tunity”. story times n nity e ds.

THE GUIDEBOOK OF GENESIS

G70

New mid-sized $60k sedan previewed with the 2016 New York Concept. Twin-turbo V6 and rear-drive architecture shared with the Kia Stinger.

GT70

GT70 Coupe and GC70 Cabrio sports models based on G70 sedan bones. Expect 4cyl, hybrid and V6 turbo options for BMW 4 Series rival.

G80

Facelift of the current Hyundai Genesis already on sale in the US. Arrives in Australia late in 2017 with existing 3.8-litre V6.

Yanks get V8 and new V6TT.

GV60

Audi Q5-rivalling mid-sized SUV. Expect rear-biased dynamics with fourcylinder, V6 and hybrid drivetrain options.

G90

S-Class-sized flagship currently reserved for America. Next-gen model likely to be offered in RHD, but that car won’t appear until about 2022.

GV80

Due in 2019, the BMW X5- rivalling GV80 will be the first SUV from Genesis, priced from about $70K, showcasing full scope of new design language.

“ Alternative propulsion systems at the core this brand” Genesis chief Manfred Fitzgerald propulsio are of c

edge off performance.

But expect the overall equation to boost acceleration as part of a push towards hybrid performance.

As for a V8, it appears Genesis is keen to rely on technology rather than cubic capacity for its future performance models.

Genesis design chief Luc Donckerwolke was quick to dismiss future Genesis V8 models.

“As much as I like V8s … the electrification is going to be a main element [for performance],” Donckerwolke explained.

“Emissions have to be reduced drastically; today a V8 is not exactly responding to that.”

Elsewhere, the Genesis G70 is expected to up its luxury game to tempt buyers into a car that will share underpinnings with the more affordable Stinger.

After a tentative toe in Australian waters, Genesis will launch locally with a massive clean-sheet product offensive that will introduce an entirely fresh design direction, that includes headlights which abandon the traditional ‘eye’ look.

The man behind the pen, Donckerwolcke, is also responsible for the exterior design of the Lamborghini Gallardo, Bentley Flying Spur, and Skoda Octavia among others.

Marketing gurus at Genesis are using case studies from the development of Lexus and Infiniti brands to avoid the usual ‘luxury arm’ pitfalls, with the customer retail experience given key priority. affo A Aus laun clea