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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Genesis: Koreans want to put pressure on the competition with a luxury convertible

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The premium convertible Genesis X Convertible caused a stir when it was presented in the fall. The Korean luxury brand speaks of a “real flagship” and now actually wants to bring the sporty concept vehicle with Korean design onto the market. The attack on the competition has begun.

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Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis completed its X trilogy with the concept vehicle. After the X Concept (presented in 2021), a two-door coupe, and the X Speedium Coupé (presented in April 2022), a high-performance sports coupe, the luxury convertible Genesis X Convertible celebrated its world premiere in California in mid-November. The four-seater model with a foldable hardtop roof with individual glass panels above the driver and front passenger also relies on Genesis’ “Athletic Elegance” design language. This is characterized by a long bonnet, a short front overhang and a long wheelbase. Other characteristic features are “the powerful parabolic line” on the sides and “the muscular shapes” around the wheels, according to the Korean automaker.

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In addition, the X Convertible – like the X Speedium Coupé – has LED quad headlights in the front. A so-called crest radiator grille is attached to the front of the combustion models, while smaller openings in the front bumper replace the radiator grille in the electric variant. The rear features an integrated spoiler and horizontal quad taillights, reminiscent of the lights on the other two concept vehicles in the trio. In addition, a “conspicuous V-shaped” depression characterizes the tailgate.

The special Crane White paintwork should also contribute to the elegant look of the X Convertible. The ulterior motive: “The white crane stands for nobility and holiness in Korea and is an important cultural symbol that Genesis wanted to integrate into the concept,” explains the automaker in a press release.

For the interior, the designers were inspired by the architecture of traditional Korean houses. The colors Giwa Navy and Dancheong Orange are intended to create a modern image. The latter gives the seams in the car their distinctive look – just like the decorative strips on Korean wooden buildings. The instrument panel, which is installed in the center console, is also striking. It surrounds the driver and is intended to put him in the center. In addition, it should underline the performance potential of the luxury convertible. Genesis also uses leather seats and a woven interior paneling made of recyclable wool in the concept car.

Genesis X Convertible to go into production

“With the concept trio, we are strengthening the sporty and emotional facet of our design philosophy,” explained Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke in a press release published in November. He continued: “Electric powertrains give us the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors – and convertibles do that better than any other vehicle. With the Genesis X Convertible, we are building on the success of the X Concept and the X Speedium Coupé and continue the brand’s mission to create vehicles with an even greater emotional impact.” At the presentation of the concept vehicle, Donckerwolke told the media that preparations are being made for a production vehicle based on the X concept series.

Recently, the statements about the start of production of the premium convertible actually became concrete. Peter Lanzavecchia, chairman of the Genesis National Dealer Advisory Council and owner of Genesis of Cherry Hill in Marlton, New Jersey, told Automotive News that Donckerwolke told dealers at the Genesis annual meeting that it wanted to produce the X Convertible.

A performance GT coupe is therefore at the top of the wish list for Genesis dealers, it said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be over $200,000 or $300,000, but I guarantee we’ll trade in a lot of the Bentley Continental Convertible when it comes into our showrooms,” Lanzavecchia said. He added: “It would be a real flagship for the brand.” With this, Lanzavecchia vaguely classified a price range for the planned X Convertible, but Genesis has not yet given any information about the performance data.

Korean luxury brand wants to establish itself internationally

Within around 3.5 years, Genesis has presented a wide range of mid-range and luxury vehicles. The electric model GV60 was the brand’s first car. It received the “German Car of the Year 2023” award in the premium class. According to the manufacturer, the SUV is the most popular Genesis in Europe. This was followed by the Electrified GV70 and the Electrified G80. All three appeared last year. Other models are the G70, GV70, G80, GV80. In addition, the Koreans recently launched their top model, the G90, which is currently not available in Europe. So far there are (still) a handful of combustion models in the Korean car manufacturer’s portfolio, which is set to change soon. The company has committed to becoming an electric-only brand by 2025 before planning to be carbon neutral by 2035.

Genesis was last registered as a sub-brand of Hyundai. However, it is an independent company and so they now want to establish themselves as their own brand. In addition, the luxury brand relies on traditional Korean elements with international and European design and technology genes. The competition should therefore pick up speed – and should continue to intensify with the X Convertible.

Sources: , , , press release

Source: Stern

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