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Genesis to expand beyond luxury

First full-size electric SUV Neolun, high-performance brand Magma make global debuts in New York

March 26, 2024 - 15:44 By Kan Hyeong-woo

From left: Formula One racer and brand partner of Genesis Jacky Ickx; Claudia Marquez, chief operating officer at Genesis Motor North America; Luc Donckerwolke, chief creative officer at Genesis; Chang Jae-hoon, chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor Company; Lee Sang-yup, head of Hyundai Genesis Global Design Center; and Jose Munoz, Hyundai Motor global chief operating officer, pose for a photo with full-electric Neolun concept car at Genesis House New York on Monday. (Genesis)

Genesis, a premium brand under South Korean auto conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group, unveiled two new concept vehicles -- the brand’s first full-size electric sports utility vehicle Neolun and the high-performance GV60 Magma -- at Genesis House New York on Monday, highlighting the future vision of the luxury automaker.

“The Neolun Concept was inspired by Korea’s iconic moon-shaped porcelain jars,” said Luc Donckerwolke, chief creative officer at Genesis. “It’s the epitome of timeless design and sophisticated craftsmanship.”

According to Hyundai Motor Group, the electric SUV concept’s exterior has been drafted around the principle of reductive design characterized by clean, refined lines that eliminate unnecessary details. Therefore, exterior of the Neolun is sleek, without any bumps.

The Genesis Neolun concept vehicle (Genesis)

The distinctive coach doors on the side of the Neolun stand out as the most prominent features of the concept vehicle. The coach doors without B-pillars connecting the vehicle’s body and roof allow for more open interior space and create convenient access for passengers.

Genesis underlined that the Neolun’s interior cabin represents a modern reinterpretation of Korea’s traditional hospitality culture as the concept car’s heating system was inspired by the country’s ondol heating system to allow efficient heating with heating films applied to the dashboard, door trims, floor, seatbacks and console sides.

Ondol is Korea’s traditional heating method that uses direct heat transfer underneath the floor to warm a room.

The front-row seats’ swiveling function also adds more to the concept vehicle’s interior hospitality.

“We can tell you that the philosophy of the moon-shaped porcelain jar is what Genesis wants to follow,” said Lee Sang-yup, head of Hyundai Genesis Global Design Center.

From left: GV80 Coupe Concept, GV80 Magma Special, GV60 Magma Concept and X Gran Berlinetta Concept (Genesis)

The Genesis Magma program, led by the display of the GV60 Magma Concept, will add a new dimension to the luxury auto brand as it expands into the territory of high-performance vehicles, according to Hyundai Motor Group.

The automaker said the plan is to ultimately develop a high-performance Magma model for each vehicle in the Genesis’ existing portfolio in the future.

“The brand will continue to reveal experimental concepts with careful consideration of both technological and aesthetic elements,” said Donckerwolke.

“While speed and performance are important, the Genesis Magma program will look beyond, prioritizing the driving experience to kindle the joy of sporty driving with effortless comfort.”

The GV60 Magma has been developed on the basis of the GV60, Genesis’ first dedicated EV model, with improved battery and motor technology.

The concept vehicle has been widened and lowered compared to the existing model, allowing for a more dynamic stance and lower center of gravity in consideration of chassis, aerodynamics and thermodynamics to enhance stability during sporty driving. There are also fins added on the roof to control the aerodynamic flow

The automaker said it aims to launch the commercialized version of the GV60 Magma next year.

Alongside the GV60 Magma, Genesis presented three other vehicles donning the Magma high-performance program's iconic orange color: the GV80 Coupe Concept, G80 Magma Special and X Gran Berlinetta Concept.

“(With the Magma program), we are pursuing a direction that can give more trust and comfort to luxury car customers instead of focusing on driving on race tracks and how many seconds it takes for the car to reach 100 kilometers per hour from a standstill,” said Chang Jae-hoon, CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.

The two new concept cars and the three other vehicles along with other Genesis models in the Magma program will be on display at the New York International Auto Show slated to take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from Wednesday.