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Hyundai Motor Group is going all in with its Genesis luxury brand, following in the footsteps of Honda and Toyota’s success with Acura and Lexus, respectively.
But it’s not the 20th century any more, as it was when the Japanese luxury marques began to surge in the sales charts. Genesis looks to be a proactive premium brand, and its parent company seems to want to take on Tesla.
Automotive News reports Genesis will not only flesh out its lineup of vehicles to include the G80, G90, and the upcoming G70 sport sedan, but plans to challenge Tesla’s crown as an electric-vehicle powerhouse.
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Of the six new nameplates coming by 2020, per the brand itself, Genesis will also encompass a plug-in hybrid vehicle and a pure battery electric vehicle by 2021. While the plug-in hybrid will be based on an existing Genesis model, the brand will give the EV an all-new name to further extend its portfolio.
Genesis global brand chief, Manfred Fitzgerald, said the plug-in is expected to be ready for 2019, while the electric model will be in development a while longer. Following the first EV in 2021, a second may be introduced, according to Fitzgerald.
As for what body style to expect from Genesis’ first fully electric vehicle, the brand is mulling over two architectures: one for small- and medium-sized vehicles and one for larger vehicles.
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The executive declined to give specifics about what form the brand’s first EV will take, but did say the all-electric layout gives its designers the "total liberty to do something we haven't done before."
One thing is clear, though: don’t expect traditional hybrid vehicles from Genesis, the ones without plugs. The cost associated with greater electric-only driving range offered by plug-ins can be absorbed through Genesis’ premium price tags, said Fitzgerald.
Genesis won’t be the only brand gunning for the premium electric-car space. Longtime standards in the luxury space such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW have similar goals. Even Porsche plans to produce its Mission E concept, which debuted 18 months ago to great acclaim.