After a shaky start with some dealership problems, Genesis is finally taking off. The Korean luxury brand has developed its own visual identity and is currently busy with building a whole lineup to properly use it: as of the date of this article, it offers two SUVs, three sedans and, more recently, the “shooting brake” of these photos.
Hyundai is finally following Honda, Toyota and Nissan’s footsteps and created its own luxury division, but we have to remember that the main reason of that was fighting the German companies. Because of that, consistency has become the foundation of this market: it helps build a sense of quality, people enjoy it, and deals are closed.
Releasing the G70 Shooting Brake shows that Genesis does not want to simply master the basics: it wants to stand out as well and knows that now is the time for that because most customers have not had time to form a solid impression of it yet. The following paragraphs show that the mission of standing out was, indeed, accomplished.
What makes it so different?
In short, shooting brake is a body style created some decades ago as a leisure-oriented counterpart to station wagons. Now that SUVs have taken the family market to themselves, the industry wanted to make use of the strong image of the first two styles and, essentially, decided to merge them into one balance of practicality and sportiness.
Genesis pretty much adapted the sedan, so the new body naturally received a sloping roofline. The thick C-pillar joins the strong waistline crease and makes those rounded windows look large and dominate the region, which used to be common in cars such as the first Renault Mégane, although those had actually low waistlines in general.
Wrap-around rear windshields never entirely go out of fashion, but most new cars pair them to blackened pillars to create a floating roof or simply use them to move the rearmost pillars forward and dissimulate the overall length. Here, the way it is disconnected from the rest makes it visually irrelevant just like in a Dodge Daytona, for example.
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Moving to the rear end, we can see what is probably the item which best sends the car’s message: it is definitely not suitable to grocery runs or vacation trips; the Volkswagen Gol tried that in 2008, but its different target audience forced it to change in 2012. On the G70, the lid barely accommodates all its logos, let alone those light extensions.
Speaking of the latter, we can say they were a nice touch to adapt the original visual identity. However, the lid design made them too small and they are not connected to the original tail lights because they came from the sedan, which does not use them. Even Honda’s low-cost move from the 2013 Fit to the WR-V looks (slightly) better.
The G70 Shooting Brake ends up quite intriguing because it manages to look good despite those design mishaps. If it sells well enough to deserve a second generation in some years, it will be interesting to see what Genesis will decide between preserving such subversive style and changing it to something more balanced and predictable.
The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake was developed exclusively for the European market, where station wagons of all sorts still have good market performance. However, it arrived at a defining moment for its brand bringing questionable design solutions. Do you think it will simply fall into ostracism or does it have potential to set a trend?