Genesis brands has established itself as a serious luxury sports-sedan maker with the G70, despite there are some points that still need an improvement, like the dealer dispute that mades a little bit difficult to find a Genesis dealer closer to you in North America.
During the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the guys at Road&Track have spoke with Hyundai’s head product planner, Mike O’Brien, who dropped a strong hint that a high-performance G70 is in the works.
“A big effort with the G70 was thermal management, to make sure that this car will hold up,” O’Brien told us. “We’re building for the future. I’ll just say that.”
The topic of thermal management came up when discussing the Veloster N, which was designer to withstand long lapping. Thermal management, O’Brien says, has become an important engineering focus at Hyundai and Genesis, thanks largely to Albert Biermann, the former head of the N division who was recently promoted to R&D chief for all of Hyundai.
That note about extra cooling capacity in the G70 seems to indicate that Genesis wants to offer something sportier than the standard car, perhaps with racetrack performance in mind. An M3-fighter? That seems ambitious, but then again, so was targeting the 3-Series in the first place. And given how sweetly the current G70 drives, maybe Genesis could just pull it off.
Would such a model be badged as a G70 N? O’Brien told them it’s too early to say. Genesis is still figuring out how it wants to brand any eventual performance cars.
Hyundai is placing increasing importance on getting into racing in North America, as evidenced by the new Veloster N TCR race car. It’ll make its competition debut later this month at Daytona in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series. O’Brien says Hyundai is looking at more motorsports opportunities in the US, and he personally wants to see Genesis involved in racing.
“We’re looking at different things, as you can imagine. Whether it’s GT3 or GT4 or prototypes, we’re looking at all those things,” he said. “It’s way too early to speculate on where we’re going to go, and of course, we have to think about where we want Genesis to go, where we want Hyundai to go. No decisions have been made at this point, but certainly, we need to think about it. We have two separate brands we need to build awareness and excitement around.”
It’s clear that Genesis is here to play, and hopefully that means we’ll be seeing its products on track—either at HPDE events or in sanctioned professional racing.