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New York LIVE: Genesis Mint concept takes the brand into city car territory

by Ronan Glon

Is it a preview of an entry-level Genesis?

Hyundai's Genesis division traveled to the 2019 New York auto show to introduce a concept car named Mint. It illustrates a completely different side of a brand that, so far, is known only for making luxurious sedans.

Stylists from South Korea, Germany, and the United States worked together to create the Mint. It takes the Genesis design language in a futuristic direction by adopting styling cues like a grille-less front end, thin headlights, and the seemingly obligatory LED light bar. Its compact dimensions become evident when it's viewed from the side, but its sloping roof line gives it sporty look not commonly associated with cars in the subcompact segment. Its short rear end features the same lights seen up front.

The Mint's cabin offers ample space for two passengers. Rear half doors that swing up provide access to the cargo compartment while replacing the trunk lid. Cognac leather adds an upscale touch to an interior inspired by a blend Korea tradition and modern European furniture design, according to the firm.

With the Mint, Genesis argues that more is better when it comes to screens. The steering wheel is surrounded by six small, round screens that display key information about the car and its surroundings, like navigation directions and the battery's state of charge. There is a seventh screen integrated into the steering wheel, a setup reminiscent of Byton's recent concept car. Interestingly, sister company Kia poked fun at the proliferation of screens in concept car design with the Imagine concept it unveiled at the 2019 Geneva auto show.

Technical specifications are vague at best. All we know is that the Mint is powered by an electric powertrain which delivers up to 200 miles of range. It's compatible with 350-kilowatt fast-charging technology. How much horsepower the motors develop is up in the air, and the concept's overall dimensions remain guarded.

Genesis hasn't revealed what the future holds for the Mint concept. The young brand is currently expanding its line-up of models, but it's focusing on SUVs and crossovers -- which are in hot demand all over the world -- and it hasn't indicated plans to enter the city car segment.

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