The 2016 New York Auto Show featured a series of high-profile debuts including the Nissan GT-R, the Audi R8 Spyder, and the Mazda MX-5RF.
But one car sneaked up on just about everyone: the Genesis New York Concept.
The stylish hybrid concept car is the latest offering from Hyundai's newly launched Genesis luxury brand.
"The New York Concept is a progressive concept car that showcases the design quality of the brand," Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald said in a statement ahead of the unveiling.
"With its expressive volumes and refined design, the New York Concept truly embodies the 'Athletic Elegance,' that characterizes Genesis products and will continue to do so for future models that come from our luxury brand."
Fancy PR talk aside, the New York Concept is really a thinly veiled statement of intent from Genesis indicating that it is prepared to dive headfirst into the compact luxury car market and to challenge BMW's stalwart 3 Series.
The Genesis brand lineup contains the large G90 luxury limo and the Hyundai Genesis-based G80. If the New York Concept does indeed make it into production, it will be a welcome addition that will allow Genesis to reach a broader consumer base.
Under the hood is a 242-horsepower, 2.0-liter hybrid drive system coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In true concept-car form, the interior is futuristic in design and in tech. It's chock full of fine leather, suede, and copper-toned, stainless-steel mesh accents.
And then there's the display. At the heart of the Concept's infotainment system is an impressive 21-inch curved, floating 4K unit. There's also a 3D gesture control sensor that allows occupants to remotely move content from one area of the screen to another.
But the Genesis Concept's real trump card is the way it looks. It's stunning. The exterior design is punctuated by a long hood, coupe-like roof line, and short overhangs to give it a muscular stance.
And the automotive press has picked up on it.
The Genesis concept looks really sharp. Loving the fender crease, and the color. pic.twitter.com/zbjC4WD08p— Alex Kierstein (@HanSolex) March 24, 2016
Stunning looks aside, the Genesis New York Concept has a long way to go just to make it into production, let alone challenge BMW. The compact luxury segment is as competitive as ever with high-caliber offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac, and even Alfa Romeo.
To survive in this segment requires incredible fortitude. Thus, it's only logical for Genesis to progress in that direction.
Genesis looks set to at least be able to get its foot in the door, but whether it will have staying power remains to be seen.
At first glance, however, things look good. Stunningly good.
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