All high-end luxury brands have created supercars to act as a halo, a top-tier product that showcases their technological and performance know-how, one that is out of reach but aspirational enough so that it helps create an additional layer of desire for the brand’s lesser models.
A brand like Mercedes-AMG has the GT S, Lexus had the LFA, Audi the R8, BMW the i8 and Infiniti has been plotting such a car for some time, so it makes sense that a new player into the luxury segment would want to establish itself with a halo car.
Speaking to CarAdvice at today’s New York auto show, Hyundai’s chief designer, Peter Schreyer, said that while it may be on the distant horizon at best, a supercar is a possibility.
“It’s still some time away, something like this,” Schreyer told CarAdvice.
“All these things take a little bit of time. We’re just at the beginning and things like that [potential supercar], you know, we need to talk about and develop more.
“But also, you know, you always have to do the homework first, you cannot do everything at once. You cannot develop a brand like this from one day, [you have to wait until] another and lay the foundations piece by piece.”
He admitted that while it’s a dream project for the designers, the South Korean bosses might not be overly keen on a supercar project that will lose money.
“This is very difficult for them, the company is there to exist, to… it’s a business”
If it received the go-ahead from higher up, it would seem such a car will be at least five or so years away, given Genesis has confirmed it will bring six new vehicles to market before 2020 as phase one of its plan, two SUVs and four sedan/coupes.
Beyond that schedule would seem the obvious time to create the halo product to give further credibility to the brand.
Genesis and Hyundai have added some key personnel to their arsenal over the last 12 months, with the hiring of the head of BMW’s M division as well as the man responsible for the Lamborghini Gallardo and Murcielago, Belgian designer Luc Donckerwolke.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the show, after the presentation of the new Genesis New York Concept (pictured here in a more coupe-like sketch form), Donckerwolke said “why not” when asked if Genesis will make a supercar, and then, whether that excites him.
“Of course [I’m excited]! But I won’t reveal the secret now because it’s still my baby! Obviously, yes, this is part of the interest of designing a brand, being able to create [supercars]. It’s not just something which we’ll do, let’s say a rational traditional [type] project, but there will be some highlights.” he said.
The Genesis brand will relaunch itself in Australia with the updated Hyundai Genesis being rebranded as a Genesis G80 mid next year.