Just when you thought – well, I thought – Genesis was going to reveal a small crossover as their next big concept, they come out of left field (well, out of New York City’s Hudson Yards on the eve of the New York Auto Show, anyway) with this: the full-EV Mint Concept. Far from a crossover or SUV of any kind, it’s a city car with an all-new design and, Genesis says, “an innovative interior user experience.”
Whatever that is, it’s highlighted by a rear parcel shelf instead of your typical trunk, accessed via scissor-style side opening doors (think “Lamborghini doors”), low-mounted for more ease-of-loading. Remember: the Mint is a city car, and Genesis doesn’t envision folks needing to load all that much into it. Instead, there’s plenty of room inside for everyday items such as handbags, tablets and phones.
While the doors help loading your wares easier, the Mint makes loading your passengers easier by the front bench seat, which can swivel along with the instrument panel.
Since it is a full battery electric vehicle (BEV), it’s going to need a charge port: it’s center-mounted at the rear so as to facilitate ease-of-access to a variety of charge stations, whether in large parking lots or tight roadside spots. No power, range or charge time figures have been discussed, but Genesis does say that while the Mint is a city car first, it also needs to be a good drive, as that’s what potential buyers at this level are looking for.
Styling-wise, the Hunter Green paint (don’t they mean “mint green”?), short front and rear overhangs as well as the mullion-free greenhouse all point to a modern design, and a re-imagining of what the traditional city runabout looks like. The Mint was jointly designed by Genesis’ design teams in Germany, the US and South Korea.
The shape’s not all about just looking futuristic, either; Genesis says that all the various curves and creases you see are functional and provide better air circulation and cooling around the vehicle. All I know is that if they do make it – or something remotely like it – I sure hope they keep those wheels with their spectacular quad-spoke design and chrome finish. A man can dream...
It’s just a concept for now, but be careful on counting it out for production; the Smart ForTwo was pretty out there when it first debuted, and look what happened there. Even if the Mint doesn’t reach production in this form, don’t be surprised if Genesis takes a serious look about making a proper entry into the segment, with this concept as a jumping off point.