The brand's combustion engine vehicles have been well received, particularly the GV70 and GV80 crossovers that arrived in the U.S. over the last year. But SangYup Lee, head of the Hyundai Global Design Center, said in a recent video presentation that the shift to EV technology requires a fresh design aesthetic.
Without the styling limits of an internal combustion vehicle, with its prominent motor and cooling requirements, the GV60 breaks some of the old rules.
"The sleek coupe profile, long wheelbase and dramatically short overhang exude a distinct sense of novelty visible at a glance," Lee said.
Smooth surfaces replace character lines for a futuristic feel. The headlights use 20 LED beams.
When Brauer went to see the GV60 up close at a Genesis event, he was expecting some of the design weirdness that has marked recent EVs from legacy automakers as they tried to blend the old and the new. But he came away surprised by the Korean crossover.
"I walked in thinking this would be some kind of bizarre-looking EV," Brauer said. But, he said, "walking around in person and really just studying the design elements, I liked it as soon as I saw it."
Genesis has modified some of its existing design features, which are only a few years old anyway. They include the "two lines" theme for exterior lighting, the geometric Crest Grille that now sits lower on the front end, and an interior focus on minimalism without completely wiping out physical knobs and buttons.
One EV-inspired interior element is the Crystal Sphere shifter knob. When the GV60 is off, the sphere is visible as a rounded object with interior lighting. When the car is turned on, it rotates to reveal a sculpted rotary shifter. Besides being a unique design element, Genesis said it serves as a safety function in a vehicle with no audible motor at rest.