On the 2015 Hyundai Genesis
So why does Hyundai have a premium, E-segment car, the Genesis? Isn’t it a brand best associated with stylish, value-oriented products? Maybe that was once the case. But not, necessarily, now.
According to Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, the rationalization is fairly straightforward:
1. To expand market coverage. What OEM doesn’t want to have greater market share?
2. To have on offer a car that is packed full of technological content (from advanced Blue Link 2.0 telematics to adaptive cruise control), premium features (leather, LED lamps), and performance capability (a 311-hp V6 with available all-wheel-drive to a 420-hp V8) at a price that is targeted at post-recession consumers who are more interested in value than an established luxury logo (at a starting point of $38,000 for the 3.8-liter V6 version [it goes up to $51,500 for the V8], this value proposition is compared with the likes of the Cadillac CTS 2.0T @ $45,100; the Lexus GS 350 @ $47,000; the Infiniti Q70 3.7 @ $49,500; the BMW 528i @ $49,500; and the Mercedes E350 @ $51,900).
3. To have a halo car. There is the Equus above the Genesis (F-segment), which is more premium, but as the Genesis is all-new, there is a bit more radiance to the vehicle in the showroom.
Genesis has been—its first generation was a 2009—an attractor of non-Hyundai owners (e.g., Lexus ES, Mercedes E-Class, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry), accounting for about 55% of the inflow. (The remainder: Hyundai owners.)
So while things like the Elantra (2014 deliveries according to Autodata: 247,912) and the Sonata (203,648 deliveries) may be the proverbial bread- and-butter of the brand, the Genesis (32,330) is undoubtedly an important element in growing its franchise in the U.S. market.
The 2015 Genesis was primarily styled at Hyundai Design North America in Irvine, CA. Hyundai introduced its “Fluidic Sculpture” design language on the 2011 Sonata. With the Genesis, it is now, says design manager John Krsteski, using “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0.”
Krsteski says that one of the reasons for the first-gen Fluidic Sculpture was to get people to “pay attention” to Hyundai. Its previous design executions had been those of a “fast follower,” so the designs of the cars were, by and large, not as noticeable due to the fact that other OEMs already had products in the market with the shapes and forms. So by creating the creased and flowing Fluidic Sculpture vehicles— which went from Sonata to Elantra and so on—Hyundai would establish more physical presence in the market. “We wanted a lot of consumers with little or no familiarity with our brand to take notice of our car,” Krsteski notes.
Now that that’s been accomplished they’ve moved on to the next level, refining the fluidics. Rather than con- tinuing with the broad gestural lines, they’re using precision and detail, Krsteski says. He describes it as “a refined fluidic aesthetic. It is less of a line-based approach, and more volume-based.”
What’s more, they’re creating more commonality. He cites the grille, for example. The previous generation Genesis and Sonata have wing-shaped grilles; the Elantra has more of a hexagon. So they’ve essentially melded the two together. “The previous car,” Krsteski says, “has a nice front end, but it’s a bit passive. One of the things we really wanted to push was a proud presentation of the new grille shape.”
The 2015 model has almost exactly the same exterior dimenions as the 2014: