Genesis Announces High-Performance Magma Program, Reveals 2 Models

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Genesis is targeting BMW M and Mercedes-AMG with its new (liquid hot) performance division.

Genesis on Monday kicked off New York International Auto Show week with a series of big reveals at the nearby Genesis House. The brand showed off no less than five models, four of which now fall under the newly established Magma performance division.

Doctor Evil jokes aside, the Magma name has history. When Genesis debuted the GV80 Coupe concept in this same space a year ago, it was bathed in a bright Magma paint. Later in 2023, the brand worked in partnership with Gran Turismo to debut the 1,071-horsepower Genesis X Gran Berlinetta, a track-ready supercar that players can digitally drive today. Both the GV80 Coupe and X Gran Berlinetta were on-site in NYC, bookending the two upcoming production models that will kick off the Magma brand.

The first model shown was the G80 Magma Special. Based on the existing G80 sedan, the Magma Special features generous amounts of carbon fiber trim including a sizeable rear lip spoiler, a vented hood, lowered suspension, unique 21-inch alloy wheels, and a new exhaust system from UK-based QuickSilver. Hyundai Group chief creative officer Luc Donckervolke introduced the G80 Magma Special, and later in the night popped the hood to confirm it is running the corporate 3.5-liter turbo V6. What sort of changes have been made, or how much power the Magma Special is targeting, are both still unknown.

Don't get too attached, though: the Genesis G80 Magma Special is set to be a limited-production special exclusively for the Middle East.

That won't be the case for the GV60 Magma. Genesis' smallest model will kick off the flow of Magma on this side of the Atlantic, upping performance on what is already the brand's quickest offering. Hard figures are again notable by their absence, though the press release mentions "improved battery and motor technology." This leads us to believe there will be at least some commonality between the production GV60 Magma and the 641-horsepower Ioniq 5 N, which uses a higher-capacity 84.0-kilowatt hour battery pack.

The GV60 Magma checks the boxes for those most traditional of performance modifications: lower, and wider. The Korean company says it has paid special attention to downforce and the cooling requirements of a high-performance electric vehicle. To that end, larger air intakes up front provide clean, cold air not only to the batteries, but the motors and brakes. Same goes for a trio of nostrils just above the license plate. Wide, body-color wheel arches wrap around embiggened, flow-formed 21-inch wheels with integrated aero discs.

Moving rearward, the GV60 Magma gets progressively wilder. The lighting bolt-style window graphic is gone, but the little EV has sprouted fins on its roof, aiding in high-speed stability. We see that look mirrored in the sizeable rear spoiler, complete with upturned corners and a small, central diamond-shaped cut-out, mirroring Genesis' grille shape.

Inside, the GV60 Magma sees splashes of—what else—Magma orange, including on its bucket seats trimmed in Nappa and suede leather.

“The GV60 Magma Concept will deliver ample power, instilling customers with the confidence to drive with pure excitement and exhilaration,” said Donckerwolke.

Whether Genesis intended to or not, the GV60 Magma drew plenty of comparisons with the recently unveiled Rivian R3X. Both are small, high-performance EVs with more than a hint of classic '80s rally car to them.

We don't expect to wait nearly as long for the Genesis, mind you. While the Korean brand didn't talk launch timelines, it did tell the assembled media that it would arrive "sooner than expected."

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

Join the conversation