Tesla has made an unexpected success out of its pioneering luxury electric vehicles, which offer a healthy dose of performance for good measure.
Hyundai's Genesis luxury brand, while taking a couple pages from Lexus for its launch strategy, may be following a similar path to Tesla for a future sport coupe.
The Australian outlet Drive reports a V-8 engine has been axed in favor of an electrified powertrain for the Genesis coupe, due to arrive by the end of 2020.
“As much as I like to drive V-8s, I believe electrification is going to be a main element,” Genesis design boss, Luc Donckerwolke, stated.
Why the change of heart? Donckerwolke says the regulatory environment is a key reason for the shift to electric propulsion over internal combustion engines.
“See what's happening; diesels are being banned from the cities,” he said. “Emissions have to be reduced drastically. Today a V-8 is not exactly responding to that environment.”
It's a far cry from the classic German sport coupe recipe, which has traditional involved a burly V-8 engine.
Still, the performance capabilities of all-electric powertrains have certainly been proven by Tesla's P100D model range -- they're anything but sleepy.
Genesis' chief executive, Manfred Fitzgerald, went further to say performance will become even less of a differentiator in the future as electrification spreads across all carmakers.
Attributes such as brand recognition and levels of connectivity will become the factors many luxury buyers look for if Genesis has anything to say about it.
As for the future of Genesis and its plans for many more electric and electrified models, they're bullish.
Of six new nameplates to arrive by 2020, the company says a plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2019—based on an existing vehicle within the brand's portfolio—and a dedicated battery electric vehicle will arrive in 2021.
Two underlying architectures are under consideration for the battery-electric model: one for small- and medium-sized vehicles, one for larger vehicles.
As for what form that all-electric model will take, it remains to be seen.
But if today's consumer sways the decision, a luxury SUV doesn't seem far-fetched at all.
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