Genesis Mint Concept at the New York Auto Show
Genesis Mint Concept Is A Tasty Two-Seater Electric City Car
Genesis is a luxury automaker, and its current lineup is rich with larger cars — as it should be, considering size imparts feelings of wealth and prosperity. So it was quite the surprise, then, when the company decided to bring a twee electric car to the 2019 New York Auto Show. But, according to Genesis, perhaps it’s not that surprising.
The notion of a “luxury city car” can be a little hard to swallow—remember the ungainly, Toyota iQ-based Aston Martin Cygnet? But Genesis seems to have hit upon some convincing styling language with the Mint Concept. In person, the concept car looks larger than it is, with a wide-set wheelbase and a low, sloping roofline. Standing at the rear of the car, the roofline is well below chest height.
The Mint Concept is a true two-door, two-seat small car. Design tricks make it feel roomy: That big, wide dashboard is mounted on a pivot, as is the bench-like seat. Both retract a few inches to make more room for the driver to slide into place when she or he opens the door. Instead of a traditional hatchback, the cargo area is accessed through flip-up side ports. Don’t get thrown off by the pedals, though: That’s not a clutch pedal on the left, it’s merely a stylized footrest.
As a design exercise, the Mint provides an interesting challenge: Can big-car style and luxury be successfully translated down to a tiny city runabout? Viewed in person, the concept car seems to argue that such a thing can be achieved. This is no doubt aided by the car’s electric drivetrain, with a skateboard style battery pack allowing most of the car’s footprint to be devoted to passengers and cargo.
Put it this way: If Genesis were to come out with a small, luxurious production car that looked like this, we’d be mightily impressed.
Genesis says that the Mint Concept is made to get about 200 miles (322 km) of range per charge and can use 350-kW fast charging.