About a year ago, Genesis revealed one of the best-looking concepts we’d seen in a long time—the Essentia. Then, in September, we learned that Genesis plans to actually build a limited run of production Essentias. That alone was exciting news, but Hyundai’s latest announcement opens the door to the possibility of the production Essentia becoming one of the most powerful cars in the world.
This week, Hyundai Motor Group announced a new partnership with Rimac Automobili, the Croatian EV manufacturer responsible for the Bugatti Chiron-rivaling Rimac C_Two. The partnership will involve HMG investing about $90 million into Rimac, with Hyundai putting up a little more than $71 million and Kia adding an additional $18 million. According to the release, the two automakers will work together to “develop prototypes for an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports concept car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle.”
We’re not sure what the fuel cell prototype will look like, but the announcement certainly makes it sound like Hyundai’s RM16 concept may actually go into production as an electric vehicle. We still prefer the idea of a mid-engine hot hatch, but we’ll take what we can get.
The Genesis brand wasn’t specifically mentioned, but we can’t help wondering if the production Essentia will use a Rimac-sourced powertrain. Hyundai has some experience building EVs, but it’s never built anything capable of doing 0-60 mph in 3 seconds like it claimed the Essentia could do. Rimac, on the other hand, has already developed an electric powertrain that produces 1,887 hp. And as we saw with the Pininfarina Battista, Rimac is willing to sell that powertrain to other automakers. The Croatian EV maker is also supplying battery packs to Aston Martin for its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar and to Koenigsegg for the 249-mph Regera plug-in.
Until Genesis announces more information on the production Essentia, we can only speculate. But unless Genesis R&D is already cooking up a high-performance electric drivetrain, it makes sense for the brand to use a battery and motors that already exist. Even if it only gets a detuned version of the C_Two’s powertrain, the production Essentia would still be a potent machine. But if it actually does get the near-1,900-hp powertrain, Genesis would shoot to the top of the hypercar hierarchy.
We’ve reached out to Genesis for more information and will update this post if we hear back.