The Genesis Essentia is a multi-motor electric vehicle from Hyundai (Genesis is Hyundai’s luxury spinoff). With the driving motivation behind the vehicle being to elevate and reimagine “Athletic Elegance,” the Essentia has a big bill to pay. If anyone can deliver on that bill, though, it’s veteran designers Luc Donckerwolke and Sangyup Lee—both formerly of Bentley.
The design took cues from Korean culture rather than western opulence. For instance, Lee specified that Korean calligraphy, with its emphasis on the white space and not the lettering, informed the no-clutter approach to the Essentia’s design. The look of the car takes you back to the tourers of the 60s, with swooping lines. You’ll notice the quad headlamps as being unique to the Essentia. And you can’t miss the butterfly doors.
The interior is a striking copper and blue scheme accentuated by crosshatch patterns. The Cognac leather also sports chevron quilting. The car is a 2 + 2, but the rear seats blend into the background enough that you’ll feel like it’s meant just for two. The instrument panel breaks from tradition as well, sweeping across the length of the dash rather than being segmented into a driver’s and passenger’s side. It takes a moment to get used to the mottled material that covers portions of the interior, but even that serves a purpose—it’s recycled carbon fiber.
As a starting point for Genesis design, the Essentia sets a high bar for the upcoming generations.