I thought it would be nice to compile all the confirmed/rumored upcoming vehicles from GHK (Genesis-Hyundai-Kia) into one spot. There’s a lot going on over the next 5 years for the Korean brands, but I’ll just do the things that enthusiasts would care anything about. In the end, the three brands should look something like the following in terms of enthusiast relevant offerings:
Genesis - Value driven luxury cars focused on comfort, technology, and driving dynamics comparable (but in no way exceeding) their market segments. Don’t expect to see any high performance variants over the next 4 years. Hyundai’s N performance division will tweak some bits, but Genesis won’t have a performance arm. When it does get its own division, expect all vehicles to work off AWD hybrid setups.
Hyundai - As far as performance is concerned, Hyundai will be entirely made up of FWD based vehicles by the end of the decade and zero AWD performance cars (so nothing exceeding Ford’s ST models). A lot more focus on creating near current Honda levels of engaging to drive vehicles across the entire lineup. Nothing up to Ford or close to Mazda rivaling levels of every single vehicle being enjoyable for drivers though.
Kia - We should see the advancement/introduction of their GT-line. Nothing ridiculous like an SVT or SRT level of performance. You’ll have a selection of RWD/AWD premium vehicles (think the bottom side of Buick and Acura but with the advantage of not being FWD). Should also see GT badged models with sport tuned suspensions and a mild power bump. Europe, you’ll just notice the GT models bump up a level upon new generation releases.
So all together we should end up with Genesis going up to “Sport” variants but nothing close to M, AMG, RS, and so on (think 445 hp tops, but 350-420 hp options for everything). Kia’s premium RWD-based vehicles will be Buick, Acura, and Lincoln competitors. Hyundai’s N division will be the most aggressive level of performance in the entire group, but compete in the FWD “hot hatch” segment. Then you’ll see a mix of lukewarm FWD Kia “GT” and FWD Hyundai “Sport” models with 6-speed manuals and 7-speed dual clutches. Just think that everything between Hyundai and Kia zigzags between brands, while Genesis is a comfort-before-performance direct competitor to Infiniti.
Hope that’s easier to imagine. Here’s a compilation of the cars we know progressing into the cars everyone is speculating and their supposed purpose when I’m able to include it:
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport (Fall/Winter 2017)
200hp and 190 lb-ft, 1.6T I4 paired to a 6-speed manual or 7-DCT. Civic Si and Jetta GLI competitor.
2018 Kia GT “Stinger” Sedan (Summer/Fall 2017)
What the Genesis Sedan was for Hyundai’s luxury beginning, the GT is the same presentation and lead horse for Kia’s grand touring intensions. This going to be a 4-door, premium sports coupe that presents a new RWD/AWD platform and 3.3T V6 into Kia’s lineup. Expect other models to receive the “GT” badged variants. For markets that are familiar with Kia’s GT, simply expect that same designaton but bumped up a notch. Should have the 8-speed auto. A manual is rumored (and possible) but I’d be really surprised for the US.
2018 Hyundai Genesis Coupe (Summer/Fall 2017)
Just expect the Hyundai Genesis Coupe to receive another front, rear, and interior refresh next year as opposed to being an all new model like the concept above. The big news will be the introduction of the 3.3T V6 into the Hyundai lineup pushing up to 380 hp and no more than 372 lb-ft. This will be an odd ball because it won’t be a bigger performance variant but instead more of a budget luxury sport coupe. Eventually it will change platforms but keep a similar styling and drivetrain layout and be replaced by the 2020 Genesis G70 Coupe, leaving the Hyundai brand without any RWD vehicles.
2018 Genesis G70 Sedan (Summer/Fall 2017)
The compact sports sedan from the Genesis luxury brand. Likely start with a 245 hp, 2.0T and a 311 hp 3.8L V6. Just the 8-speed auto available. Should be most comparable to the Infiniti Q50. A G70 Sport should appear right after the model with a 360 hp 3.3T V6. Should be a hybrid version in there as well, and maybe a PHEV version before the end of the decade. Nothing crazy performance wise though.
2018 Hyundai i30 N (Fall/Winter 2017 Euro, Summer/Fall 2018 US)
Up to 260 hp and 272 lb-ft, 2.0T I4. FWD 4-door hatch with available 6MT and 7DCT. Should sit between the Focus ST and Golf GTI as well as be the introduction of Hyundai’s performance brand.
2019 Kia Rio GT (Spring/Summer 2018)
180 hp, 1.6T I4. To be a Fiesta ST competitor with less edge. The next gen Rio should appear before this car.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N (Fall/Winter 2018)
Just something that looks like this concept, but definitely not midengine. May contain up to 245 hp from a 2.0T I4. Should see 6MT and 7DCT. Next gen Veloster should appear in 2017 with a Veloster Turbo spec (likely called Veloster Sport since all variants will be turbo) above it later that same year.
Then 2020 G70 Coupe (Sometime 2019) is the last big deal I’m seeing people excited over but should definitely have a manual option and be release out the gate with everything outside of a full on Genesis performance division designed, whatever the 2020 RC F is like competitor.
There will also be CUVs, hybrid cars, and refreshes up the yingyang, but nothing out of the ordinary. Next year should be big because each brand in GHK will have an all new or redesigned RWD vehicle dropping at the same time. After that it’s just keeping things fresh. Also, like the Elantra Sport, we should see some warmed-over versions of regular cars such as a Kia Soul GT with at most a 200 hp 1.6T, a Kia Forte5 GT with the 200 hp 1.6T to sit between the current 173 hp Elantra Sport Sedan and whatever the 240-plus hp Hyundai i30 N hatchback will be called in the US. Also the Genesis G80 Sport (former Hyundai Genesis Sedan) should pop up in the US next year with the 360 hp 3.3T. The only other thing is maybe an AWD-only Kia Sportage GT with the 260 hp version of the 2.0T directly out of the i30 N, to keep up that budget Macan thing they are fumbling around with. But that is the most out there thing so far.
Once the Hyundai Genesis Coupe switches to the G70 Coupe at the end of the decade, we should see the Genesis brand roll out its own performance brand using sport hybrids, as well as a new lineup of FWD-based AWD models which will allow Hyundai and Kia actually offer some AWD regular cars (a segment they have less in than CUVs or even slightly sporty cars).
If you want a general heirarchy since everything clashes on top of each other, it should be like this:
- Genesis Luxury
- Kia Premium (RWD-based models)
- Hyundai N Performance
- Split between Hyundai “Sport” badging and Kia “GT” badging (as in actually having the two brands splitting up models, so 200 hp Elantra Sedan means no 200 hp Forte Sedan, but a 200 hp Forte 5 is fine because no 200 hp Elantra GT). This is that zigzag thing I mentioned.
- No real difference between Hyundai or Kia regular models. Like Buick CUV v. GMC CUV, but cheaper and more identical.
Eventually Hyundai’s N brand will tweak the RWD Kia’s and move up a spot. Then Genesis will get a performance division and sit on top of everything like AMG, M, and so forth. Hope this was informing, all these are the most credible rumors I’ve been seeing online so don’t think anything is set. I’m just sharing because it doesn’t seem like any of the auto sites really keep much track of these brands even though the have a luxury brand, performance brand, RWD vehicles, and a lineup of green cars all rolling out over the next three years (all of which are markets without any previous experience in).
This has been another overly informative post about the Korean brands because I think it’s weird that currently the 4th largest automaker in the world (pdf link at bottom of article) has so little attention. We all know about the Honda S1000 but it’s hard to find info on the THREE vehicles that are RWD with twin-turbo V6 variants slated to arrive next year.