As we described on Monday, this year's car show in Shanghai has been the place to be if you want to see car designers' ideas for future electric cars. But not everyone chose China as the place to reveal their electric concept cars. Genesis believes the Big Apple is a better place to make an annual statement.
In 2017, it was the GV80, a fuel cell EV, which was the first reindeer design for the new Korean luxury brand and a vehicle that seems a lot more plausible now that we have driven Hyundai's Nexo. Last year we got Essentia, an electric hypercarrier that almost certainly remains something more than a concept. Now, for the third consecutive year, Genesis has stolen the New York International Auto Show, this time with Mint, it takes on a small luxury battery EV.
Forget an electric car for the masses, this one is for a niche in a niche: the city dweller who only needs two seats but still wants cargo space, plus the extra drama of case doors and a leather-lined interior that looks like it belongs in a coachbuilt Bugatti from the 1930s. Admittedly, it's not the greatest demographic in the world, but I'm counting myself stuck in that camp.
"Luxury has no size," said Manfred Fitzgerald, head of Genesis Motors. "Even a small car with a limited room can feel luxurious. Despite the aesthetic signals, I think it also has many practical features for it as the side valves for studying your stuff. Also the simplicity of the interior, the fine lines and reducing it to a minimum, to the most important, is the statement here. "
Genesis designer Sangyup Lee agreed. "Traditionally, size is important in luxury cars. But the question to ourselves was," If you live in a city like New York, the size is relevant? "Lee said to Ars." What if we did something small but luxurious. It's an EV so we pushed the wheels to the corners. Although it is a small car, we can stretch the cabin so there is a lot of legroom and cupboard when sitting in it. Asked us also whether four or five seats were relevant, in a city there are many transport options, and maybe two seats are enough and we made the back room utilitarian so you could carry your stuff. "
That cargo area is accessed through a pair of side opening doors that provide the car with a lot of visual drama while showing practicality." The scissor doors open from the sides, allowing you to easily access things from the cargo area. If you think about it, in a car parking car, bumper bumper. So is a tailgate tailgate the best idea? Maybe not, if it's a parked right behind you, Lee said. "When the front doors are in front, they are quite heavy, the glass has to fall and it's hard to get in and out. But when you have them like this, half size and on the back, it's almost ideal."  Genesis
The cottage is a special joy. The worktop pocket swings slightly back when you open the door to help the entrance. The driver's display is inserted into the wheel, with three small circular screens on each side of the wheel for other controls. To start the Mint, rotate the spherical drive mode selector on its axis, providing immediate visual feedback if the car is off (metal side up) or on (crystal side up). To drive away, turn it from P to D (or R). Behind the two seats, the elastic black network provides a way to secure loads, and it is easy to get to thanks to the large side openings. My favorite elements are pedals and footrests (the one on the left) that use Genesis & Matrix designs and leather to add a touch of Art Deco style.
No real technical specifications exist for Mint, but do not exclude a production version. When I asked Fitzgerald if it could contain any of the more outgoing design details, he reacted enthusiastically. "I want to see everyone doing it and I will definitely fight for it. I don't know if I want to win, but I'll fight to have this on the street just the way it is."
Genesis, if you make this car a reality, you will get my money.
Listed image of Jonathan Gitlin