For an automaker, its flagship sedan is extraordinary - it is a model that houses the most advanced features and luxury of the current time. As the leader of the Genesis brand, the 4th generation G90 presents progressive luxury Sensitivity. It is highlighted in this large luxury sedan, featuring sporty yet elegant style. How did the designers make the unique design of G90 come to life? Jae-ho Oh, Jang-Hyeok Ahn, and Byoung-Youn Yang, senior researchers of the Genesis Design Team, and Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher of the Genesis CMF Team, talk about the details of the interior design, color, and materials of the G90.
* CMF (Color·Materials·Finish) refers to the finishing design that is crucial to the quality, the material of exterior and interior, and the color theme of the cabin and the body of a car.
Q. What is the central theme in the cabin design of the G90?
Byoung-Youn Yang, Senior Researcher | The features are becoming more diverse and detailed as automobile technology evolves. So, there are inevitably more and more buttons to control each function in the cabin; However, if you focus only on these functions, the cabin would look too messy. Since the flagship sedan has to feature the most diverse features among all the mass-produced models, designing the cabin of the G90 was never an easy task.
The interior design of the newly launched G90 is centered on two main themes - digital sensitivity boasting cutting-edge technology and analog sensitivity with sophisticated details considering intuitive utility. And we wanted to convey a progressive yet warm image through them; a lot of effort has been put into making it visually uncomplicated and concise while unraveling various advanced functions and technologies so that users can easily use them. Above all, the rich reinterpretation of the 'beauty of white space', which is a unique Korean aesthetic element and the direction of Genesis interior design, is the core of this interior design. It was intended to harmoniously show the simplicity and luxurious Sensitivity of the Genesis flagship sedan.
Q. How was the design development process?
Jae-Ho Oh, Senior Researcher | The designers shared lots of opinions about how to arrange analog and digital aspects effectively. Depending on how you show the two opposing images, the cabin may look old, or it could hurt an elegant feel if you focus too much on conveying a high-tech image.
First of all, we pursued visual comfort rather than lavishly decorating all visible interior elements. After creating a neat and simple overall layout based on the design theme of Genesis - the beauty of white space -, the homey and comfortable feeling was emphasized through a perfect sense of proportion. On the other hand, when we wanted the cabin to house visual concentration, we expressed a luxurious and modern image with a refined feeling through sophisticated details found in high-end industrial products. In order to maximize the luxurious details, we used raw materials such as glass and aluminum and designed it to look like a finely crafted jewel. From the customer's point of view, I think this is the most harmonious design that pursues ergonomics - utility and convenience - and aesthetic beauty.
Q. What is the story behind the slim and wide dashboard?
Jang-Hyeok Ahn, Senior Researcher | The dashboard penetrates the overall interior design. Not only is it the largest element in the cabin, but it is also the part that attracts the most passengers' attention, And the interior design of the G90 was perfected with this in mind. First, around the cluster, a float-type leather garnish in the shape of wings created a unique atmosphere for the G90. These visual elements provide an environment where you can focus on driving with a driver-centered layout, and increase visibility by blocking light coming from the left and right of the cluster. In addition, the brightness control button is placed on the leather close to the driver to improve convenience.
Q. Why are the 12.3-inch cluster and infotainment connected side by side?
Jang-Hyeok Ahn, Senior Researcher | | the dashboard layout - 12.3-inch cluster and infotainment - is arranged as we intended. First, on the front of the layered dashboard, we tried to convey simplicity by making the vents slim. These vents, as mentioned earlier, house both analog and digital sensitivity. The upper part of the wood trim connected to the vent highlights digital sensitivity, and the lower part is analog. At the top, a 12.3-inch cluster and a 12.3-inch center monitor were placed side by side. This is a next-generation infotainment system (ccIC, connected car integrated cockpit) that seamlessly links elements between the cluster, navigation, and head-up display. In addition, wideness and high-tech images are delivered through seamless elements. This lengthens the wood trim horizontally without interruption, increasing the formative perfection.
Q. The driver touches the center console as often as the steering wheel. What aspect did you focus on the most when designing this part?
Jang-Hyeok Ahn, Senior Researcher | The essence of the first-row center console is the dial-type Shift By Wire (SBW). The rich volume and the detail of the shift dial refined as sophisticated as a jewel create a strong visual contrast and highlight the detailed image. We also considered intuitive utility because it plays an important role when driving; the shift dial's grip and texture are different from the rest of the center console panel. This makes it easy for the users to feel the difference by touching intuitively, even without seeing it.
Q. What highlights the door trim?
Byoung-Youn Yang, Senior Researcher | The wraparound design from the dashboard to the door trim creates a spacious cabin. A characteristic of the wraparound design is that a soft curve that starts at the upper end of the dashboard wraps around the passenger and continues to the upper part of the door trim, visually delivering a cozy and spacious feeling. On the wood trim of the door, indirect ambient lighting from the bottom creates the atmosphere of a high-end lounge. This is different from current ambient light, which illuminates a large area. Thanks to the optimal lighting color chosen by the design quality team, it was able to shed a different color light for each interior material. In addition, the sophisticated yet refined grill pattern design of B&O's Premier 3D sound system mounted on the door trim was crafted by designers of Bang & Olufsen and Genesis through long-term collaboration.
Q. In the G90, the owner often sits in the back seat. What are the specifications for rear-seat passengers?
Jae-Ho Oh, Senior Researcher | The 190mm-longer long-wheelbase model has additional storage space in front of the second-row center armrest. In addition to the leg rest, the electric footrest function creates a first-class seating feeling. This is a unique cabin interior element that only the limousine model can provide, giving independence to the second-row left/right space. The second-row door center trim satisfies the VIP passengers in the back seat by adding soft and comfortable padding wherever the passenger puts their arm.
Q. The seat of a luxury sedan must satisfy luxury, comfort, visual satisfaction, and advanced functions at the same time. I'm curious about the features applied to the G90 seat.
Jae-Ho Oh, Senior Researcher | The seats are generally vertically divided with leather padding. On the other hand, in the G90, the island-type seat piping that divides the backrest into two features a unique feeling given by high-end furniture. Unlike the piping that only works as an outline of the seat increases durability, the G90 enhances aesthetics and utility by allowing the piping to run into a rectangular structure over the seat padding - as an independent interior element. On the second-row seats, the concave package tray (the shelf behind the second-row seats) visualizes independently controllable reclining features, such as backrest angle, cushion extension, and lifting.
Q. What interior element would you most like passengers to take a look at?
Byoung-Youn Yang, Senior Researcher | In the front seat, the wing-shaped bolster design that wraps the passengers on both sides creates a cozy Sensitivity and provides strong support for the body during sports driving. In addition, the seamless design that minimizes the gap between the center console and the seat holds up your belongings well. The inside of the C-pillar close to the side of the head of the rear seat passengers is also an element with excellent utility. In the G90, a separate tray that can store magazines or books satisfies VIP passengers who travel for a long time. All of these designs are carefully crafted by designers assuming various situations. And inside the long-wheelbase model, on a door armrest, is a folding tray for small items like cellphones - an additional storage space that could have been overlooked.
Q. Customers looking for luxury brands always look for special values. What value can the G90 bring to customers?
Jang-Hyeok Ahn, Senior Researcher | Since luxury sensitivity starts from the invisible part of the car, the designers paid great attention to the 'gray zone' - a design term that refers to the surface where the exterior and interior meet, such as the bonnet, the inside of the door, and the hinges on the fuel filler or the doors, for example. The designers of the G90 have carefully completed all areas, including the gray zone, and their efforts would have perfected the car even more. G90 will provide the passengers with such an exceptional value that holds delicacy and respect for human beings - the brand's philosophy.
Q. What are the theme of color and material design that dominates the G90?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | The color and material design (CMF) of the G90 is mainly inspired by the ever-changing landscape. Just as the trees change completely different colors depending on the season, and the appearance of the city in the morning and evening changes every day, we wanted to convey this feeling in the exterior color as well. Owners of the G90 can choose between two blacks, for example - Vik Black and Maui Black. Vik Black has a black pearl hue that emits a subtle iridescent color. Maui Black also features a deep darkness as a pure deep black with no pearly hue. This is a paint inspired by Black Sand Beach, Maui, Hawaii; It expresses the soft black sand beach pebbles created by crashing waves, and the pebbles changing to a darker black when soaked in seawater. We want our customers to experience the difference between the two blacks: the early evening sky and the deep, dark night sky.
Q. What color and material design features maximize the value of the flagship sedan?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | Previously, flagship sedans focused on delivering the most luxurious image that symbolizes the brand. While Equus and EQ900 emphasized traditional luxury, this G90 presents a sportier yet luxurious image as if an athlete were wearing a high-quality suit. This dynamic and luxurious styling of the G90 had a major impact on the development of color and material design; Because they must match the overall styling of the vehicle.
For the flagship sedan, the G90 has a total of 12 body colors, consisting of two matte colors (Makalu Gray, Verbier White) and ten glossy colors, which is unusual for a flagship sedan. For the cabin, five choices for the sedan model and three choices for the long-wheelbase model provide broader options for the customers. In addition, brand-new pigments were used in the exterior paint to enhance the glossiness to emphasize the youthful and modern style. In addition, the designers made a lot of effort to feature decorative pattern designs using traditional Korean crafts, and materials that consider the global environment and enhance sustainability.
Q. Vivid colors such as Capri Blue, Hallasan Green, Bariloche Brown, and Valencia Gold stand out. How do you expect the customer response?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | Contrary to the general idea that flagship sedan customers prefer achromatic colors, a survey result showed that domestic VIP customers who love the Genesis G90 want vivid colors. This reveals the customer's preference for special values, breaking away from monotonous options such as black, silver, and gray. Also, I personally think that providing customers with a broader choice is the right thing to do as a luxury brand that Genesis should pursue - that's why we developed as many different colors as possible.
Here is a brief introduction to the color options; First, Capri Blue depicts the deep sea with charcoal powder pearls. Bariloche Brown is a pearl color housing both red and orange pigments at the same time. In addition, Makalu Gray uses the largest pearl pigments that mass-produced cars can use, sparkling brilliantly under bright light. The automaker's first Korean name for body paint, Hallasan Green, contains the most Korean luxury value pursued by the automaker along with the Genesis interior design theme, 'the beauty of white space.'
Q. What technology was used to improve the paint quality?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | Genesis has secured the industry's highest level of paint coating quality based on steady investment in facilities and research. After a blind test was conducted, the industry experts evaluated the quality to be superior to its competitors. The transparent paint used by Genesis is a two-component clear paint, with less orange peel on the surface and excellent gloss. It consists of two separate paints - the primary material that expresses the glossiness of the paint and the hardener that hardens it quickly. Unlike general clear paint in which the two are mixed together, it creates a more uniform glossy surface since the main material and hardener are mixed right before it coats the surface of the body. This painting method requires more knowledge and expertise because the production process is much more complicated. On the other hand, the 'double clear method,' which coats the body twice with transparent clear paint, was used to the long-wheelbase model to realize a deeper black color. All this was to provide the best luxury to customers using more unique elements.
Q. Do your interior color options maximize emotional quality?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | A total of 5 interior colors - Obsidian Black Monotone, Obsidian Black/Bordeaux Brown Dual-Tone, Urban Brown/Glacier White Dual-Tone, Galaxy Black/Modern Gray Dual-Tone, Velvet Burgundy/Dune Beige Dual-tone - convey a luxurious and cozy atmosphere. The shade I love the most is Bordeaux Brown. So far, Genesis has used the brown interior colors close to camel-brown and yellow-brown. On the other hand, Bordeaux Brown is a red-brown that reminds of dark red wine. With such bold interior color, this flagship sedan will get a good response from customers with similar characteristics.
Q. What are the efforts that Genesis makes as a global luxury design trendsetter?
Taek-Sung Nam, Senior Researcher | Colorful veneer wood trim is the most common among luxury sedans. To escape from this, G90 developed new wood trims such as newspaper crown wood and newspaper stripe wood for the first time; it is an eco-friendly interior material that combines discarded waste paper and natural wood, and it was completed after much trial and error with a Spanish wood veneer company for the past few years. It represents our consideration of the severe indiscriminate logging and environmental pollution. On top of the eco-friendly certified wood veneer, thin sheets of compressed paper and pulp are stacked layer by layer to make a large block, and then cut sideways to create a texture depicting natural tree rings. In addition, the traces of letters written in newspapers between the wood layers give a unique interior atmosphere. These eco-friendly materials are a unique design element that delivers new value to customers and can minimize damage to forests and participate in global efforts towards reducing waste.
The automaker unveiled the cabin materials that express Korean beauty for the first time. G-Matrix pattern garnish made of real metal is engraved on the colorful forged carbon and ashwood patterns to create a unique luxury. It is a decorative element that uses the silver inlay technique, which is one of the traditional craft techniques. Forged carbon is a high-tech material made by processing thin carbon fibers at high temperatures and high pressure, and natural patterns are created by chance during the manufacturing process. We think that the forged carbon trim, which applied the traditional inlay technique on carbon, reflects the brand character of Genesis.
Photography by Min-Seok Choi
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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