Automakers use concept cars for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it’s just to espouse some high-minded ideas about things like sustainability, recycled materials, or the very art of the automobile itself. Other times, they’re used as previews of an automaker’s upcoming new design language, or a new model in the pipeline. The lurid, intoxicating design of the latest Genesis concept has us hoping the latter is the situation in this case.
Get your wrist warmed up to write this one out, because it’s called the X Gran Berlinetta Vision Gran Turismo Concept. It was shown off at the Gran Turismo World Series World Finals in Spain as an accompaniment to the high-octane e-sports event. Following in the steps of other automakers, the X Gran Berlinetta was created as a digital concept for Gran Turismo, the popular racing video game series created by Polyphony Digital. However, Genesis saw fit to greet attendees with a full-scale mockup of the concept car, albeit without a drivetrain.
Right away, it’s obviously a Genesis—the brand’s mark clearly denoted in both the badging and the characteristic “Two Lines” lighting that sweeps across the front end and down the fenders. It looks particularly striking in this case, outlining the grand maw of the front air dam and punching through into the huge vent cutouts on the side of the vehicle. It’s a long-hood design with the cabin set back, with proportions that mean business.
Every outrageous concept needs some lairy aero features, and the X Gran Berlinetta doesn’t disappoint with a wing set into the front end that lets air pass through the dam and over the hood. The mouth, along with the graceful curves and bubble canopy, fondly remind us of the Mazda Furai concept of 15 years ago, though the lighting design and detailing places this design very firmly in 2023.
The rear end is similarly striking, again continuing the Two Lines motif with the stylish integrated taillight. As you’d expect for a modern hypercar design, there’s a sizable rear diffuser. It’s joined by a smoothly integrated rear wing that also encompasses cutouts built into the wheel arch. Oh, and don’t let us forget to mention the highly-geometric center lock wheels, and what appear to be fuel ports on the rear spine.
We’re also told the Magma color was influenced by Korea’s volcanos, along with the emotion and vibrancy of the rich Korean culture. It’s all a part of the brand’s “Distinctly Korean” ethos. Insofar as the company has strongly established its own design language and stand-out style, it ought to be applauded.
Inside, it’s got a racing-style steering wheel with a screen and plenty of controls that nobody short of the World Endurance Championship is qualified to mess with. Hilariously, the minimalist interior also features a rotary control that seems to be displaying a compass (below, to the right of the yoke). As any adept circuit racer will tell you, this is key to avoid getting lost on track. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s filler that was left in by the art department and nobody thought to change it.
Just as impressive as the concept’s styling are the figures boasted by its spec sheet. According to Genesis, the X Gran Berlinetta achieves a drag coefficient of just 0.34. Meanwhile, the hybrid “race-spec” drivetrain delivers 1071 horsepower and 986 pound feet of torque – which equals 1,337 Nm, so maybe Genesis was making a joke here. That’s all thanks to the front-mid-mounted Lambda 11 V6 that revs to 10,000 RPM, delivering 870 hp and 789 pound-feet of torque, with the rest contributed by a Yasa electric motor.
Of course, there’s just one minor problem with that spec sheet. It’s all a bit … flimsy. See, when you’re making a concept car to drop into a video game, you’re not constrained with the rules of the road, any given racing series, or even physics itself. Since it’s just numbers in a computer, why not say it has one-billionty horsepower, and a unicorn co-pilot that can shoot lasers at enemy aircraft?
For now, the car will live its life in Gran Turismo 7. Players can tune in to the Manufacturer’s Cup broadcast in December, which will grant them early access to the concept in-game from January next year.
That’s not to discount the glory of this Genesis design. The company should also be credited with actually building a full-scale model, even if it didn’t get a drivetrain. It’s a thing of beauty, no argument about that. The idea of Genesis building a top-tier hypercar is also an intoxicating one, even if it seems an outside chance at best. Regardless, if the company keeps putting out these amazing high-end concepts, both in the performance and the ultra-luxury space, it has to rub off on the company’s product lineup. If something half this gorgeous and a third as powerful hit the market with a Genesis badge, we’d all be winners at the end of the day.