The Essentia was created as an object of desire to celebrate the simple pleasure of driving around aimlessly

Cruising—getting some friends in a car and going out for an aimless drive was a way to socialize—can be classified as one of those distinctly American activities born in the 1950s. But social media and declining car ownership by young people in the last decade have largely left that culture to history.

The Essentia concept car, which Genesis debuted at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, aims to inspire a return to cruising with a luxury escapist spin. For starters, have a look at the beautifully shot launch video including cameos from other cruising friendly modes of transport.

The Essentia concept is an all-electric Gran Turismo (GT), the first battery electric vehicle from the Genesis brand. The Essentia is meant to be a car that mixes luxury and performance, and is designed to be an object of desire that puts creativity ahead of practicality.

It is nice to see Genesis continue its tradition of bringing an off-the-wall concept car to debut in New York. Essentia is the third such in three years. There are a ton of interesting design elements on both the exterior and interior to discover.

The exterior is essentially two parts: the front and rear facias and fenders are opaque, while the hood, canopy and rear deck are transparent glass. Copper accents the air opening at the front and a style line that wraps around the canopy, somewhat like a necklace.

Through the glass panel in front, you can see the carbon fiber chassis and Formula One race car inspired suspension.

The lighting has been pared back to a few horizontal lines that wrap around the front and back. The design called for the lights to be frameless with virtually no seam separation with the body.

The interior of the Essentia is worth a really close look. The door openings have been treated with a 3D printed lattice Genesis calls G-Matrix. The lattice creates both a structure for the interior as well as letting air flow through interior channels.

The effect is quite unique and a departure from the typically overlooked design of door sills which tend towards flat planes of metal or plastic trim.

The dashboard and instruments are a mix of digital displays and machined aluminum analog controls. Collaged pieces of carbon fiber make up the black main dash panel and center console bezel.

The Essentia concept shows the brand is comfortable with taking risks, and it’s particularly nice to see a visionary product tied to the humble activity of driving around. There wouldn’t be the same emotional connection with this concept if it had been presented as another super car made of unobtanium.

Genesis

Cruising—getting some friends in a car and going out for an aimless drive was a way to socialize—can be classified as one of those distinctly American activities born in the 1950s. But social media and declining car ownership by young people in the last decade have largely left that culture to history.

The Essentia concept car, which Genesis debuted at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, aims to inspire a return to cruising with a luxury escapist spin. For starters, have a look at the beautifully shot launch video including cameos from other cruising friendly modes of transport.