Genesis is working on a Gran Turismo to rival the likes of the BMW 6 Series coupe and Mercedes-Benz SL, but it will focus its efforts away from purely being on performance with larger capacity V8 engines off the table.
Speaking to Australian media at this week’s New York motor show, Luc Donckerwolke, the former director of design at Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and now the head of design at Genesis, confirmed that work on a large GT was underway.
The model is undoubtedly set to become the halo for the brand – and it will unencumbered by decades of history like that of its rivals.
“When you are trying to do the next-generation of a product that has 100 years of history, your impulse is basically guided by the past,” Donckerwolke said.
“What we are doing here is creating the first step… To be honest, I’m not really looking at the others, I have the advantage of creating something new. I don’t have to look at others, but there’s certainly going to be a Gran Turismo two-door.”
The GT will top the Genesis range that will also consist of two luxury SUVs and numerous sedans and their derivatives.
Nonetheless, it’s unlikely the Hyundai-owned luxury brand will make use of a naturally-aspirated or assisted V8 for any of its vehicles, as it seeks to move into future powertrain technologies – a fact reiterated by Manfred Fitzgerald, the former head of brand and design at Lamborghini and now the boss of the Genesis brand.
“I stated once that alternative propulsion systems are at the very core of this brand and I truly believe that,” Fitzgerald said.
“If you look at that and you look down the road at what is going to happen with the electrification of vehicles, performance will not have that dominant role anymore because it’s a level playing field. So the ICE (internal combustion engines) dominances of performance, that’s going to go away.”
According to Fitzgerald, once all cars utilise electric powertrains, the difference in acceleration and performance will ultimately become meaningless. Meanwhile, Donckerwolke admits that while he would personally love to see V8s in the GT and other Genesis models, the future has caught up to the car industry.
“As much as I like to drive V8s, I believe electrification is going to be a main element, like the powertrain of this [Genesis GV80 concept] having a range-extender fuel cell for an electric vehicle or an electric powertrain, it’s a great source. Hyundai and Genesis are pioneers of fuel cell technology, being the first company that has put fuel cell technology in production and on sale, it’s the way to go.”
The timing for the Genesis GT is yet to be confirmed, however, we suspect it will spearhead the brand’s model lineup within the next four to five years.