Korean luxury brand Genesis may be offering some performance-oriented petrol engines in its model range, but the company’s chief has suggested petrol power isn’t the answer for the ultimate in performance.
Manfred Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Genesis, told media at the launch of the all-new Genesis G70 in Korea that he believes electrification will kill the traditional perception of a performance car.
“I think so. If you look at the performance value of an electric vehicle today, there are a lot of internal combustion engines that really struggle to keep up with them, performance-wise,” Fitzgerald said.
“Now there are other things that go into making a true performance car, and your biggest enemy on an electric vehicle is weight. So to get the power-to-weight ratio right is going to be the task of the engineers in the future.
“But I’m pretty sure that will one day be accomplished, and we’ll see a lot of vehicles out there which are very high-performance,” he said.
“I don't think so right now, because we just spoke about alternative propulsion. What does that mean? Well, performance will not be on the same, let’s say, forefront of differentiation as it is today with internal combustion engines,” he said, in reference to the power wars still at play from existing luxury manufacturers.
“Everybody is capable of doing an electric motor, and putting it in a car. So the performance values will almost be the same. I think that will come down to a level playing field, so therefore trying to put something, or tack something on top of that, I don’t think that would be rationally a wise move to make.”
As such, Fitzgerald made it clear he sees no need for a performance sub-brand.
“I grew up in that era, so I know where you’re coming from, and I know where they were coming from,” he said of the existing and established players.
“And that was all right at that time. I’m just looking forward to the future and I just don't believe that will still be, and have the same power, and the same meaning as it had back then.”
It's an interesting stance from a brand that launched the new G70, which can be equipped with a 3.3-litre bi-turbo V6 engine with 272kW of power and 510Nm of torque, and is capable of 0-100km/h in as little as 4.7 seconds.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia chief operating officer Scott Grant said that locally a performance range - like the N division of Hyundai - would be desirable.
"It would be great, of course, but we’re on a journey with Genesis. It’s launching, it’s gaining momentum globally and we look forward to that happening in Australia. We think we can make a statement in Australia with the existing line-up, in the first instance and then hopefully something like N and other entities will expand after that."
Grant said that the company is working with head office to see what's possible.
"It’s something we’ve been talking about with the factory for some time and it’s a requirement for this market that’s been made very clear. You’ve only got to look at AMG’s success, the percentage of their total business, to indicate that Australians have got a real interest in these kinds of vehicles. That message is going through loud and clear but you can imagine there lots of priorities and limited resources and everything needs to be planned in its time. I’m confident it will happen but, yes, we don’t have a firm start point."