At an event on the eve of the New York International Auto Show, Genesis launched what it’s calling its Magma project. The G80 Magma Special is a limited-production sedan for the Middle East, and soon, we’ll see the GV60 Magma, a hotter version of the brand’s small EV crossover.

But don’t call Magma a sub-brand in the mold of BMW M or Mercedes-AMG—Genesis wants to do something different here. 

"We don’t want to create a hardcore product that will be a disconnect from the other Genesis product," Luc Donckerwolke, Genesis Chief Creative Officer, tells Motor1. "It’s an evolution, an extrapolation of the Genesis product."

A Genesis Magma car, Donckerwolke says, won’t be a track-car first, road car-second. The idea is to create more of a high-performance GT car to sit atop the lineup. More power, wider tracks, bigger brakes, unique interior trim—including some snazzy Recaro buckets—but nothing extreme. (Except for the vivid Magma Orange bodywork, perhaps.) 

Genesis GV60 Magma

"It’s a bit like wearing a fur coat inside out," Donckerwolke says. "It’s about creating a vehicle that has the qualities you know, the initiated know, but you don’t want to brag. The car has a certain aesthetical quality that’s designed to be for performance. And that should be a symbol of the capabilities of the car."

Genesis is obviously a challenger to the luxury-car establishment, but it’s consciously different from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and the rest. That’s true of its upcoming performance models 

"The obvious way would be to basically do something which is disconnected to the [Genesis] brand," Donckerwolke says. "We have just started this brand. We will not just now make a 90-degree curve and do something different... The Magma program is—and this is why it is not a sub-brand—is just an extension of the brand. It basically is not trying to be something else."

Genesis G80 Magma Special

That said, Donckerwolke confirmed to Motor1 that there is a dedicated engineering team for the Magma cars. He also told our colleagues at InsideEVs that the GV60 Magma will use a lot of the same hardware as the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, but won’t be a simple rebody. It will be tuned differently, to better fit in with how Genesis conceives its high-performance cars. Still, it will have "hundreds" more horsepower than the 429-hp GV60 Performance

Genesis didn’t provide a production timeline for the GV60 Magma, but in a presentation, Donckerwolke said the car is coming "soon." The concept shown at the New York event looked basically production ready, though. Genesis has done an excellent job creating a credible luxury-car challenger, and we’re very curious to see what its Magma cars will be like. Based on looks alone, the Korean brand might have yet another winner. 

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