Genesis Mint concept – compact electric luxury from Hyundai’s premium brand

Respite from electric SUVs as Hyundai’s luxury arm presents sharp compact design in New York

Scan the roster from any recent motor show and you’d assume only three categories of vehicle get the electric treatment: luxury saloons, SUVs and thousand-horsepower hypercars.

Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis has broken the chain at the New York auto show, presenting the Genesis Mint concept – a sharply styled, premium two-seater electric city car.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

> Click here for our review of the Hyundai i30 N

Quite a departure from recent electric concepts then, and a somewhat refreshing one (if you’ll pardon the pun). For a start, Genesis hasn’t given the concept an apologetic city-car range, suggesting the Mint would be capable of 200 miles, while the two-seat layout has given the concept generous interior space.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The usual concept car gimmicks are present and correct, from enormous, city-inappropriate wheels to the oblong steering wheel that can’t be fitted to any vehicle without mention of the Austin Allegro, but the base ingredients are quite appealing.

There’s just the hint of a three-box shape to the styling, but with wheels pushed as far out to the corners as possible (more Wolseley Hornet than Allegro in this respect), and the design language, guided by Luc Donckerwolke (previously of the Volkswagen Group), is said to be a scaled-down interpretation of the firm’s current luxury saloons.

The idea, says Donckerwolke, is to disconnect ‘the physical dimensions of the vehicle from its positioning as a premium product’, or put another way, to show that luxury isn’t just limited to enormous saloons and SUVs. The Wolseley Hornet springs to mind again, or perhaps the Renault 5 Monaco.

Despite the minty name, the concept is actually painted in a classy shade of matte green dubbed Hunter Green, while the interior is trimmed in cognac leather; the influence here is said to be a mix of Korean traditions of embracing empty space, and modern European furniture design. The Mint eschews a regular hatchback or boot in favour of a large parcel shelf accessed by scissoring panels.

Either side of the steering wheel are small, round, copper-backed screens used to control significant functions, while a display in the centre of the wheel, looking not unlike an elongated smartphone, serves as a primary information display.

Other than the 200-mile range and a ‘high density’ battery pack, no other powertrain details are revealed, nor even which wheels are powered (front-drive is no longer a given for small cars in the electric era). We can’t help seeing a small, electric hot hatchback though – and with Albert Biermann also responsible for the Genesis division, there would no doubt be a solid chassis underneath any production variant.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/hyundai/201990/hyundai-rm19-prototype-review

Hyundai RM19 prototype review

26 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201977/hyundai-rm19-points-to-future-n-brand-performance-flagship
Hyundai

Hyundai RM19 points to future N brand performance flagship

21 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201908/hyundai-i30-n-v-the-north-coast-500
Hyundai

Hyundai i30 N v the North Coast 500

1 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201867/400bhp-hyundai-imax-n-revealed-as-eight-seater-drift-monster
Hyundai

400bhp Hyundai iMax N revealed as eight-seater drift monster

21 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/best-buys/202007/best-sports-cars-2020

Best sports cars 2020

If you value driving thrills but can't stretch to the price of a true supercar, a sports car could be the ideal middle ground
29 Nov 2019
Visit/auctions/201922/ultra-exclusive-mclaren-senna-gtr-stars-in-rm-sothebys-abu-dhabi-sale

RM Sotheby's Abu Dhabi auction highlights

Yet another RM Sotheby’s auction is on the horizon, and we’ve picked out the top lots 
29 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
28 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019