Hear Me Out: Genesis Needs To Make An AMG GT Competitor

What's a luxury brand without an aspirational halo car?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
It doesn’t have to look exactly like this, but you get the idea
Gif: Steve DaSilva, Photo: Mercedes, Genesis

Genesis, by all accounts, makes very good cars. Their sales, however, still lag far behind Mercedes, BMW, or Audi. The problem Genesis faces isn’t an inferior product, it’s an inferior brand image. It’s seen as a “tarted-up Hyundai,” an economy brand with some chrome accents. To dispel that image, Genesis needs to do something Kia or Hyundai never would: They need to make an AMG GT competitor.

Luxury brands need a range-topper, a halo car to show off what the company’s engineers can do. That’s why Lexus built the LFA, and why Mercedes has their smooth, refined autobahn-cruising two-seater. Genesis needs their own summit car to plant their flag in the luxury car market.

The G90 is a nice range-topper, but it isn’t a truly distinctive one
The G90 is a nice range-topper, but it isn’t a truly distinctive one
Photo: Genesis
Advertisement

There are a few things the Genesis halo needs. First, it has to be rear-driven — the company doesn’t adapt existing platforms from its siblings at Kia or Hyundai, it uses its own rear-wheel drive-based “M3" platform for everything except the G70. A top-tier Genesis product needs to continue (and show off) that tradition by being rear-wheel-drive only.

Next, it needs a long hood and a short rear trunk. Genesis already uses this styling as shorthand for luxury, likely due to their ex-Bentley exterior designer. For a halo car, though, Genesis needs a caricature of that layout — the longest hood, the shortest deck. The AMG GT or the Viper are the dimensional benchmarks, and Genesis will need that long hood for the next feature.

Advertisement

Third, the halo needs an engine that no Kia or Hyundai gets. Something ostentatious, a bit absurd, but somewhat reasonable to actually build: quad-turbo 6.6l V12. I know, this sounds like an absolute waste in a world that’s rapidly going electric, but Genesis already uses a 3.3l twin-turbo V6 across much of its lineup. Just bolt two of them together. This forum post from 2004 says it could theoretically work, and that’s good enough for me.

I’m not gonna demand that Genesis sell their halo car in a color-shifting, teal-to-purple paint, but I’ll heavily encourage it
I’m not gonna demand that Genesis sell their halo car in a color-shifting, teal-to-purple paint, but I’ll heavily encourage it
Photo: Genesis
Advertisement

Genesis is no stranger to this concept. The company has teased multiple coupes, winking and hinting that one may someday see production. Unfortunately for Genesis, renders are easy — anyone can model a two-door concept for some press moodily-lit press shots.

What the company needs is for one of these to reach production. The highest form of Genesis’s design language, the apex of their front-engine, rear-wheel-drive engineering. It would be a moonshot, but one that would cement the brand as a true luxury competitor.

Advertisement

And it’s something Hyundai and Kia would never get to do.