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New Genesis battery-electric crossover to debut next year

Jonathon Ramsey|January 24, 2020 11:45 AM

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During the launch of the Genesis GV80 crossover (pictured) earlier this month, the nascent standalone luxury brand teased silhouettes of six vehicles on the presentation screen. Four of them we were familiar with, and two looked like the Essentia electric coupe and Mint electric hatchback concepts. A Motor Trend report clues us in that there are other avenues for Genesis expansion, one of them so far unmentioned yet due next year: An all-electric midsize crossover on a dedicated platform. The scoop came from William Lee, the brand's global boss, and puts a new tint on old reportage. In 2016, Reuters reported Genesis would launch an electric car that was expected in 2021. In 2017, Automotive News revealed Genesis planned a third crossover for 2021, but predictions had centered on it slotting in under the GV70. 

The size of the electric crossover is a mystery, as is the nature of its electric propulsion. Genesis believes in the potential of hydrogen fuel cells, the GV80 concept shown at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show billed as having an "advanced plug-in hydrogen fuel cell" of undetermined specs. Two years before that, Hyundai showed the Intrado compact CUV concept at the Geneva and boasted a theoretical range of more than 375 miles, with a fuel cell stack juicing a 36-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack to return a 375-mile range. At the time, Hyundai said the Intrado was "far more than a styling exercise."

The other potential lineup expansion could happen at the top end, Genesis planners considering a GV90 to challenge the full-size crossovers fielded by luxury leaders, like the Mercedes GLS and BMW X7. Lee told MT "that decision has not yet been made." Trucks.com published spy photos of a Hyundai prototype on an extended Santa Fe chassis testing in Sweden in January 2019, the outlet claiming the vehicle was "likely an unannounced Genesis GV90 model" with three-row seating set to arrive in 2021. If that's accurate, the prototype could indicate the parent company is doing more than merely thinking about a GV90, whether or not the model shows up next year. 

Finally, MT mentions that all of the crossover goings-on mean "the coupe is on the back burner for now," so the wait for a production Essentia just got extended.

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New Genesis battery-electric crossover to debut next year