NEW YORK – Manfred Fitzgerald says the world is changing and car manufacturers need to adapt to those changes. The Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand was speaking to a large crowd of onlookers at the New York International Auto Show April 17th at the Javits Center.
Fitzgerald said all of this right before unveiling his companies new concept car, the Genesis Mint (Mint Concept), which he says fits perfectly in the growing modern city.
“We live in an age in which cities around the globe are adapting to change,” Fitzgerald said. “When we started this project not even 12 months ago, our designers around the world were tasked with visualizing our interpretation of an urban vehicle with our design identity. Which is guided by athletic elegance. The Mint Concept introduces this all-electric luxury car for the city.”
The Mint Concept was designed by several Genesis design studios located around the world, led by Genesis Global Advanced Design in Germany, Genesis Design Team in the U.S., and the Namyang Design Center in South Korea.
“The Mint Concept disconnects the physical dimensions of the vehicle from its positioning as a premium product, calquing the city car of the past to today,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “The Mint Concept is a designer’s Occam’s razor that challenged us to visualize a scaled-down interpretation of our signature aesthetic.”
The Mint Concept is the first automobile Genesis has featured that is not classified as a sedan. The two-seater doesn’t fit the normal definition of a luxury car. But according to Fitzgerald, Genesis is changing that definition.
“The Mint concept disconnects the physical dimensions of the vehicle from its positioning as a luxury product,” Fitzgerald said. “It redefines the city car. For us luxury does not have size. In short, the Mint concept our interpretation of a car perfectly suited for this city. Inside and out, the Mint Concept proposes an expanded definition of the Genesis brand. Designed, adaptive for a two-door, two passenger city car.”
The design features include quad Lamps in front and backstretch to the corners, the Crest Grille and a G-Matrix pattern, leather interior and swivel seats. It also has no trunk in the rear. Instead, it features a storage compartment behind the seats. It can be accessed with its own set of smaller Lamborghini style doors.
“We were thinking if you’re going shopping around in town or going to the gym, etc., why do you have to go around the car to put your bags and things away?” Fitzgerald said. “Why don’t you have lateral access?”
Finished in Hunter Green matte paint, the Mint Concept stands out from the crowd with its three-box design to the corners with extremely short front and rear overhangs.
“Like a carefully furnished city dwelling constrained by space requirements, the Mint Concept takes advantage of every cubic inch of its interior,” Fitzgerald said. “The cozy space for two is made to feel expansive, through the use of lightweight textiles, cognac leather, and mullion-free windows.”
With its foray into the electric car division, Genesis is going all in. The Mint Concept will have a battery electric powertrain compatible with 350 volt fast chargers, which allows for 200 miles on a single charge.
The combination of its size and the all-electric format makes it the perfect car for cities that are only getting more cramped and congested.
“We were toying around with this idea, actually, since I joined the company in 2016,” Fitzgerald said. “I always thought that there’s a white space on the map that nobody’s actually looking at right now. And looking at how luxurypopulation is growing, and how the tendencies are that people are moving more and more into big cities. Space will become an issue. Giving a good answer to that is what you see right here.”
However, as proud as Fitzgerald and the rest of Genesis seem to be of the Mint Concept, there is no guarantee it will ever go into production. As of right now, it is being used as a landmark for what the company can do and where it’s going.
“I do believe that the size of the product does not determine if it’s luxury or not,” Fitzgerald said. “As there are no products which are comparable to this, I do believe that we have a cutting edge on that one.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Creator