While we can often be quite a disagreeable bunch in the car enthusiast community, one thing it seems many of us can agree on is that the Genesis X Concept looks phenomenal. Which is why I should be excited that the luxury carmaker recently posted a tweet asking how many people would put down a $1,000 deposit for one.
The wording of the tweet is very strange. Normally, when carmakers put out feelers on social media to gauge interest in a concept car, they’ll say something along the lines of “like if you want us to build it!” or “what do you think, should we do it?” Perhaps Genesis is trying to convey that it’s serious about producing the X Concept only if y’all are serious about buying one. Which is fair, because humans have a habit of saying they’ll do something, begging for it and then not showing up when push comes to shove.
But it’s also hard for me to believe that a brand like Genesis, benefiting from the full weight of Hyundai’s scale with all the market research money can buy, would be caught so off-guard by enthusiasm for the X Concept that it’d call upon Twitter feedback to make that decision. Especially when this is not Genesis’ first rodeo in the arena of sporty coupe concepts, and the company ought to know damn well by now that people dig its stuff. We’ve been here before.
That right there is the rub. If Genesis hadn’t already done this twice in the last four years, I might be inclined to take the tweet at face value. But you can only churn out so many show cars in this vein, without a production counterpart, before the sight of yet another feels more like a tease than a statement of intent.
It’s a lot like when Mazda trotted out the rotary-powered RX-Vision concept in 2015, then a racing version of it strictly for Gran Turismo last year, and then announced it was leaving top-level sports car racing entirely two months ago. We’re constantly told exercises like these represent “the soul of the brand” or whatever, but when those values aren’t represented in products on sale, they don’t elicit the enthusiast cred that public relations departments so desperately seek to cultivate.
I hope this case is different; I hope Genesis is actively considering how to bring a two-door of some kind to market and that the result looks as much like the X Concept as possible. I hope Genesis is only playing coy on Twitter because it knows the car is coming, and it knows it will deliver.
Personally speaking, the X Concept works because I can see so many references to past luxury sport coupes and sedans in it. The angular lower bumper evokes the E39 M5; the slippery and clean deep green bodywork calls to mind Jaguars of the ’90s; and I can’t help but detect some Eunos Cosmo in the extremely low, wide stance, especially from the rear-quarter view. The dual-stripe headlights extending all the way through the front fenders surely isn’t something appropriate for production, but it’s one of the rare visual branding motifs I’ve noticed on a modern car that I don’t find obnoxious.
Regardless of what happens from here on out, the X Concept is a design triumph. But Genesis has the power to make it so much more than that.