Genesis is evaluating launching a small, Europe-focused luxury electric car, potentially beating Tesla’s mooted entry-level model to market.
The car would take inspiration from the Genesis Mint concept of 2019, which received positive feedback but hasn’t yet yielded a production car.
It was revealed at the New York motor show, and at the time Genesis hadn’t launched in Europe. A production model would likely have a European focus, given the car’s compact dimensions.
Mark Choi, head of product planning for Genesis, said: “We're looking at expanding our model line-up, and especially in Europe a smaller model is being considered.
“But it's not a simple case of adding new models; we need to factor in the growth of sales anticipated for our current cars, weigh that against our manufacturing capacity and then consider the rising cost of raw materials and understand how that affects the decision.”
Choi hinted that the latter factor could delay the launch of the small EV, which would sit below the Genesis GV60 crossover in the Korean firm’s line-up. As such it would be the entry-level model, although it wouldn’t carry a price tag in line with its luxury billing.
“Raw material prices for batteries is key at the moment,” said Choi. “Waiting until material costs come down could make more sense, but we will have to see.”
Design boss SangYup Lee added: “The Mint concept is still being studied. We want to understand what a small luxury car could be. When you live in a city, you don’t necessarily want a big car, so a small luxury vehicle is something to think about. There are premium small cars, but a luxury small car could be something new.”
The Mint featured twin scissor doors, but a production car would potentially be more versatile in order to give it greater sales appeal as an upmarket rival to the Volkswagen ID 3 or Renault Mégane E-Tech, for which rear access is critical.
The Mint’s claimed range of 200 miles is also likely to have to be enhanced, although its 350kW rapid-charging capability could justify a smaller battery for what would be sold as a city-based car, in turn helping keep the purchase price down.