Genesis unveils its take on the big luxury EV—the Neolun Concept

The front half of the Genesis Neolum Concept EV
Enlarge / This concept points the way to a future Genesis flagship SUV.

Jonathan Gitlin

NEW YORK—You can always rely on Genesis to bring at least one interesting concept to the New York International Auto Show. This year, the company brought several. At a busy reveal at the brand’s Genesis House in Manhattan, it showed us its high-performance ambitions with not one but four bright orange machines, plus one rather famous Belgian racing driver. Then, in a chamber reminiscent of The Barmacide Feast, we got to see the poshest Genesis yet, the brand’s take on a big luxury electric vehicle inspired by Korean hospitality.

The Neolum Concept

Genesis was tight-lipped in the lead-up to Monday night’s unveilings, but no one was entirely surprised to see a big electric SUV. Genesis is owned by Hyundai Group, after all, and has access to the E-GMP architecture, a thoroughly up-to-date flexible platform that keeps impressing us. Kia just used E-GMP to great effect to make the EV9, a three-row family SUV. And Hyundai’s take on that form factor is due later this year in the production Ioniq 7, so an upmarket model from Genesis seemed obvious.

“The last eight years, it was about finding who we are and then discovering DNA for the Genesis,” said SangYup Lee, global design head for Genesis. “Now it’s time to expand.”

It’s a much cleaner design than I was expecting—between its smoothed edges and those monoblock wheels, you might get some Mercedes Maybach vibes. The proportions look right, though. “We made it with an obsession to detail in every single dimension of the vehicle,” Lee explained.

Genesis says it’s learned enough about engineering the pillarless “coach doors” that “its application to production vehicles is now feasible.” (These doors are commonly known “suicide doors,” a term the auto industry prefers to avoid using in marketing.) Running boards emerge out of the sides when the doors are open, then slide back to minimize drag once they close again. There are retractable roof rails as well.

The concept is strictly a four-seater, with front seats that can swivel through 180 degrees to face the rear. There’s lots of purple leather and indigo-dyed cashmere and a dark wood floor to the cabin. Entertainment screens fold down from the roof for the rear passengers, and the interior is warmed by radiant heat via “heating films applied to the dashboard, door trims, floor, seatbacks and console sides,” Genesis said.

SangYup Lee talks us around the Neolum concept.
Enlarge / SangYup Lee talks us around the Neolum concept.

Jonathan Gitlin

“Everybody challenges the technology, but at the end of it, how you execute it is more important,” said Lee. “Neolum gives another level of experience for customers. You will experience technology throughout all different five senses,” he told us.

A production version hasn’t been officially confirmed, but Lee said he expected Genesis to release a flagship SUV “sooner than later.”

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