FLEDGLING luxury brand Genesis has no plans for a V8 engine, despite prime German rivals still relying heavily on the engine layout that has been loved by enthusiasts for more than half a century.
Months before it even goes on sale in Australia, the design chief for the soon-to arrive Hyundai-owned brand has all but ruled out a V8 engine option for the six-model range that will roll out by 2021.
Citing tightening emissions regulations he said V8 engines were not necessary in chasing performance.
“As much as I like V8 … the electrification is going to be a main element [for performance],” said former Lamborghini and Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke, hinting that diesel engines were also unlikely for Genesis, at least in the short term.
“Diesel has been banned from the cities, emissions have to be reduced drastically; today a V8 is not exactly responding to that.”
And, indeed, performance generally is not a priority for overall Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald.
“Alternative propulsion systems are at the core of this brand,” said Fitzgerald, suggesting electric motors would be a better bet for boosting performance of future models.
“The ICE’s [internal combustion engine] dominance of performance, that’s going to go away.”
Fitzgerald says pure acceleration will not be a differentiator for luxury brands in future.
“Performance will not have a dominant role any more.”
Instead, Genesis will rely on turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 performance, the latter able to rely on twin turbos to boost power to V8-like levels.
Fitzgerald also said there were no plans for a halo Genesis model, with the brand instead focusing on appealing luxury cars that appeal to a broad audience.
“I might not be your typical marketing guy, I don’t believe in focus groups. I believe in doing great models. A halo vehicle … that’s not our speed.”