Big Genesis electric SUV warms up, Magma performance sub-brand erupts

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Genesis on Monday night pulled the wraps off two very different new concept vehicles—one of them pointing to a flagship electric SUV for the brand, the other showing the direction of a new performance “program” that will produce go-fast versions of the Hyundai luxury brand’s increasingly electrified lineup. 

The Neolun Concept is, almost certainly, a preview of the widely expected “super-large” Genesis GV90, which according to a recent report citing South Korean labor sources is due for production there in 2026. Genesis didn’t initially reveal dimensions for the concept, but if it’s close to the largest American SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and upcoming electric Escalade IQ, it might get three rows in production. Here in concept it has just two rows, maximizing lounge-like space with rear-swiveling front seats. 

Genesis Neolun Concept - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Neolun Concept – 2024 New York Auto Show

The concept is fundamentally a very boxy, upright shape—as big, three-row SUVs tend to have—but the lack of side pillars, or B pillars, combined with wide-opening coach doors, serves a dual purpose in helping clean up this vehicle’s lines and side sculpting as well as keeping to a whole-vehicle principle of “reductive design.” There’s a near absence of sculpting, although bright stripe-lighting carries from the front, in a Genesis-grille shape, around to the fenders, with taillamps answering in lock-step horizontal conformity. 

Genesis Neolun Concept - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Neolun Concept – 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Neolun Concept - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Neolun Concept – 2024 New York Auto Show

Running-board side steps deploy downward when needed and withdraw to a hidden position afterward, while running lamps are designed to be integrated with the body design. A pop-up roof rack keeps to the aerodynamically soothed but horizontal body design. 

Inside, the Neolun Concept embraces Korean hospitality with a radiant heating system inspired by the “ondol,” a traditional underfloor heating system—also with modern renditions—that essentially makes the floor a heated path to the fireplace chimney. In this concept’s case, the floor itself is made of real wood, with the cabin finished in Royal Indigo cashmere and Purple Silk leather. 

The radiant-heat idea extends well beyond gimmick and could likely reach the production model. A study done by Ford engineers and funded by the European Commission last year came to the conclusion that smart radiant heating of surfaces rather than cabin air could save energy and boost EV range. Several suppliers are reportedly at work on that idea, while the supplier ZF last year revealed heated seat belts as a bio-informed hack allowing cabin temps to be set lower while maintaining comfort.

Radiant heat is already used on armrest and side panels in some versions of the BMW i7, and in the floor on Japan-market versions of the Toyota bZ4X.

Genesis Neolun Concept - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Neolun Concept – 2024 New York Auto Show

The interface of the Neolun keeps it relaxed, at least in appearance, with the driver’s controls minimized, outside of a quite large screen, plus a deep-dish steering squircle with a series of touch-sensitive selectors plus just a few more controls at the center console and middle of the dash.

A flexible display screen unfolds from the rear headliner area, and the sound system places its various speakers, tweeters, and subwoofers for a concert-hall-like feel—with the crystal sphere at the center console itself rotating into a tweeter. 

Genesis GV60 Magma - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis GV60 Magma – 2024 New York Auto Show

Magma promises scorching performance, no numbers yet

Separately, Genesis is launching its Magma program, which aims to create a high-performance version of each production model in the lineup—incorporating expertise from F1 racing legend Jacky Ickx. The first such version, also shown Monday, is a GV60 Magma Concept that the brand confirmed as headed to production. 

The GV60 Magma follows closely on other versions of the 2024 Genesis GV60 EV, but it’s been widened and lowered, and it gets “improved battery and motor technology,” according to the brand, which didn’t provide further details on what changes or how much it might boost power or acceleration. Additional lower air intakes help cool the motors and brakes, while huge 21-inch wheels with aero discs further serve that purpose plus help control aero flow with roof fins and a rear wing designed for rear downforce. 

Changes to the GV60 Magma’s cabin are less radical, with the package bringing body-colored seatbacks, diamond-stitched nappa-and-suede leather, and stitching and other cues bringing out the orange and gray hues that will help distinguish the performance sub-brand. 

Genesis Magma lineup - 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis Magma lineup – 2024 New York Auto Show

Genesis rolled out these models next to the GV80 Coupe Concept, the G80 Magma Special, both of which aren’t hybrids or EVs, and the high-performance X Gran Berlinetta Concept hybrid shown in December. 

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