Carmaker Genesis unveiled its groundbreaking Essentia Concept at the New York International Auto Show. The all-electric, high-performance concept elevates and reimagines the “Athletic Elegance” design paradigm, while providing a vision of future Genesis product performance and technology.
The Genesis Essentia Concept utilizes a mixed-material approach influenced by high fashion and classic color combinations. Cognac leather seats with herringbone quilting envelops the driver and passengers in true cockpit fashion. Essentia maximizes the connection between car and driver, reducing clutter and focusing on beautifully executed details, while displaying the elegant, transparent cockpit cell.
The Concept, a thoroughly modern interpretation of a highly desirable classic Gran Turismo offers an estimated 0-to-60 time of 3.0 seconds, bringing sports car-level performance to the realm of all-electric luxury coupes.
“We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasizing a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle. This is what the Genesis Essentia Concept is all about, and we are thrilled to introduce our interpretation of an all-electric, two-door Gran Turismo here in New York.”
Manfred Fitzgerald, Global Head of the Genesis Brand
Essentia is the brand’s first battery electric vehicle and features a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque, a robust, multi-motor electric powertrain, and a custom-tailored interior. Essentia is the brand’s initial concept for a true GT car and challenges the status quo as the ultimate manifestation of Genesis design and engineering. As a capable, thrilling sports car designed to counter the complexities of a modern lifestyle, Essentia offers serenity, clarity, and beauty.
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters. A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.”
Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Head of Genesis Design
Exterior inspiration: updating an icon
Throughout the design, the philosophy of “Athletic Elegance” has a prominent role, marrying power and precision through artistry. Essentia takes its inspiration from iconic Gran Turismo proportions, with a long bonnet and a swept-back cabin. Finished in Stardust Gray Metallic, the carbon fiber-bodied Essentia is positioned low to the ground intentionally, to make it instantly recognizable through a graceful silhouette.
“The search for dynamic proportions was contrasted with advanced aerodynamic flows to highlight the bionic combination of performance and aesthetics,” Donckerwolke said. “Essentia embodies the genetic elements of the Genesis design.”
Its front fascia introduces an evolution of the Genesis Crest Grille that highlights efficiency and aerodynamics. Visible through the transparent hood is the advanced carbon fiber chassis, pronounced formula car-style nose cone, as well as the exposed, pushrod suspension. Intakes positioned left and right of the Crest Grille function as air curtains, streamlining airflow around the front corners.
Flanking the Crest Grille are signature Genesis Quad Lights, first introduced on the GV80 Concept. Made possible by laser optical technology, the extremely thin, flush headlights are integrated into the body of Essentia. Extending onto a side blade aft of the front wheels, the lights create a unique light signature for Essentia. Functional air outlets located just behind the front wheels reduce pressure buildup and contribute to reduced drag.
The side profile of Essentia is dominated by the iconic parabolic line that provides visual structure to the body while also emphasizing its overall length. The anti-wedge parabolic line gracefully runs along the shoulder line of Essentia until it meets the muscular rear wheel arches. Butterfly doors enable effortless and elegant ingress and egress. A sensor mounted in the B-pillar integrates fingerprint controls and biometric facial recognition for opening and closing the doors.
The rear of Essentia is defined by an aerodynamic cut-off surface that houses the flush rear Quad Lights and emphasizes the muscles of the rear haunch. An elegant rear diffuser surrounded by carbon fiber acts as a clever, integrated venting solution for the rear wheel arch. Midas metal copper, which is also used as detail trim on the bespoke wheels inspired by the Genesis G-Matrix philosophy, surrounds the entirety of the daylight opening.
Interior functionality: elegant de-cluttering
The underlying design theory behind the cabin of Essentia was to maximize the connection between car and driver. Reducing clutter and focusing on beautifully executed details, while displaying the elegant, transparent cockpit cell, was critical.
“On the interior, purism has also dominated the creative process for the interior skin, the layer in contact with the occupants, but less traditionalist the connection between the outside skin and the internal structure. 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,” said Donckerwolke.
The interior of Essentia utilizes a mixed-material approach influenced by high fashion and classic color combinations. Cognac leather seats with herringbone quilting envelops the driver and passengers in true cockpit fashion. A slim center console covered in Oxford Blue leather bisects the cabin. Blue velvet covers the roof and its pillars. The front and rear seat belt slots are out of the ordinary, as well, composed of glass pearl finished/treated aluminum and polished aluminum. Layered carbon fiber décor adds a sporty and technical element to the interior details, with a 3D optical effect achieved through the latest technology of layering individual pieces of carbon.
Ahead of the driver is an 8-inch widescreen display with piano black surround. The information in the cluster includes only what is necessary for driving. The widescreen display is operated by a jewel-like central controller, providing a fulfilling user experience for both driver and front passenger.
The rear seats, which are accessed through Essentia’s butterfly doors, are covered in contrasting, Oxford Blue leather. In line with Essentia’s purpose as a true grand tourer, a luggage compartment behind the rear seats affords plenty of cargo room for a weekend road trip with no particular destination in mind.