The Genesis X Speedium Coupe Is the Sort of Concept We Don't Usually See

Designers Luc Donckerwolke and SangYup Lee gave us the inside story on this gorgeous two-door.

genesis x speedium coupe concept 2023 new york international auto show
Genesis

Automotive designers create a lot of things, from sketches, to real-life cars. Design departments regularly develop concept cars to help inspire new directions, or to see if a yet-unbuilt model is feasible. A lot of those cars are never shown to the public. The Genesis X Speedium Coupe could've been one such car, until the brand's global head and executive vice president Jay Chang decided a new show car would be nice. Designer Luc Donckerwolke said he had just the thing.

The Speedium, named for Korea's Inje Speedium race track, is another interpretation of the X Concept shown by Genesis last year. The big differences are up front, where there's no longer a grille, and around the back, where a new parabolic roof profile gives the car a very different stance. Much as we'd like Genesis to build this exact car, and much as we suspect Donckerwolke et. al. would like to, the main intent is to where the brand's design language is headed as it transitions to EVs.

genesis x speedium coupe concept 2023 new york international auto show
Genesis

"When a car is beautiful, it doesn't need to say a lot," says Genesis design head SangYup Lee in an interview with Road & Track. The idea here is not to resort to little styling touches to generate interest. With good proportions and a good stance, you don't need big grilles, intricate lights, and busy surfaces.

"The parabolic line drops down, that has an elegant and beautiful and classic touch, the strong fender orientation, and a very simple clear rocker," Lee says. "These aren't the freshest design elements ever—it's actually all the lines in the right spot. It's almost like how the best bespoke tailors always have the perfect balance of the lines and stitches. Almost like a master craftsman."

The front fascia adapts Genesis' "Two Lines" lighting motif to evoke the grille, itself an evocation of the brand's winged badge. Where last year's X Concept was a vision of a fuel-cell vehicle, which would need a grille for cooling, the Speedium is a pure EV. And since an EV doesn't need a radiator grille, this doesn't have one. Genesis is against fake vents and any other styling features that suggest mechanical components that aren't actually there. "We're all about genuine, puristic design," Lee says. "Honesty is so important."

The Two Lines motif appears all over the car, on the hood, roof, fenders, and the day-light opening. That's a particular favorite of Peter Schreyer, the former Audi designer who transformed the look of Kia, and now serves as a consultant for the Hyundai Motor Group. "If it wasn't there, something would be missing," Schreyer says. "There we go," Lee replies. "That's the whole thing because, once again, Genesis design is purposeful design. We don't put it there unless its really necessary."

genesis x speedium coupe concept 2023 new york international auto show
Genesis

The X Coupe and the Speedium Coupe don't reference any car specifically, but this emphasis on simple beauty means it ends up evoking some iconic sports and GT cars. Donckerwolke cites the Shelby Cobra Daytona as an influence, and Lee says he has a 1/10th scale model of a Ferrari Daytona he continually returns to.

We're just grateful that the Speedium Coupe made it out of the design studio. And there's more to come—Lee tells us Genesis isn't quite done with its X Concepts.

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