Genesis GV60 AWD Dual Motor (Sport Plus) review.
For – handsome, great interiors, impressive drive, high-quality.
Against – not German, standard electric technology.
£66,405 ($82,000 after tax and before subsidies)
Competition – Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus
“in this electric revolution, Korean excellence in this new sphere might be its winning hand. But its electric capabilities are only par for the course”
“It’s on your balcony.”
That’s the weirdest response I’ve had in years of car launches and setting up a test drive. I noticed late the previous night what looked like a Genesis GV60 electric SUV on the very large terrace attached to my room on the 5th floor of the b-mine hotel at Frankfurt Airport. I’d forgotten all about it in the morning. So after being told “it’s on your balcony”, it was back to my room to unplug the car. A lift duly appeared, doors opened, I reversed in, down to the ground floor and off on the test run to the Taunus Mountains.
The hotel’s website barely mentions this ability to retain intimate contact with your motor while on holiday, just saying “in addition to the b’mine amenities, such as car lifts…..”. Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life, but this is new to me.
Genesis, the new premium brand launched by owners Hyundai/Kia of Korea, has already launched a range of internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered luxury saloons, estate cars and SUVs and the GV60 is its first all-electric vehicle. Hyundai and Kia have been making big waves in the world of electric cars with the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 which look impressive and are very competitive in the still weird world of battery-only power. I say weird in the sense that they are very expensive, have only limited range compared with ICE cars, and are weak on fast highways. They perform heroically in urban mode though.
The GV60 has knockout looks and much notable design-detailing on the exterior. The interior reeks of quality and everything you touch is impressively tactile, although some may find this all a bit too much and a tad gimmicky. For instance, when you turn on the power, the Crystal Sphere selector for D N and P rotates into life and offers itself up for the driving experience.
Needless to say, the whole range performs and drives spectacularly well. The range-topper is this GV60 AWD Dual Motor (Sport Plus), which has all-wheel drive and two electric motors, priced at £65,405. 289 miles range is the claim, so expect about 210 miles. The launch didn’t offer the chance to get detailed electric performance data. The Premium model has rear-wheel drive and a single motor, £47,005, claim 321 miles. The Sport has all-wheel drive, two motors, and less of a specification than the Sport Plus but 3 extra miles of range. The various ranges offered don’t seem to have any logic behind them. There are various tempting options packs to make sure buyers part with much more than the standard price.
Standard across the range is what Genesis calls its 5-star advanced driver safety systems, which guarantees the steering wheel will be almost jerked from your hands if you stray across white lines to the accompaniment of much binging and bonging. There’s a big 12.3” infotainment screen and wireless phone charging.
“At the heart of the GV60’s stunning design is the Crystal Sphere, a beautifully crafted electronic transmission control that intuitively informs the driver of driving modes,” says Genesis.
Digital rear view
Top-of-the-range packages include digital side mirrors. These do the job of wing-mirrors with the image on screen just inside, rather than just outside the car. That takes some getting used to as you instinctively look outside for this crucial information. The wing-mirrors are replaced by a very fancy-looking sleek camera, looking eerily similar to the device on an Audi e-tron. Over-the-air updates will be available, naturally.
The whole Genesis venture in Europe is aimed directly at the premium Germans Audi, Mercedes and BMW. To win against this opposition will take some doing, and the automotive graveyard is full of the corpses that have tried.
A big selling point for the GV60 is the 800-volt system which offers exceptional fast charging times, with 10 to 80% possible in just 18 minutes. (compared with ICE refuelling max 5 minutes, 400 miles?) Interior trim is made from organic and recycled materials. To add a bit of excitement to the driving experience, and with the German competition in mind, Genesis offers what it calls “Drift Mode” which allows a small element of slide when driving enthusiastically, and “Boost Mode”.
“AWD versions have a unique Boost Mode that helps give the vehicle an even more dynamic and luxurious feel on the road. Accessed using a button on the steering wheel, this feature instantly unleashes an additional 40 kW (60 hp) for around 10 seconds, taking power to an incredible 360 kW (483 hp) for even faster and safer overtaking or quicker acceleration from a standing start. In addition, customers of the Sport Plus are able to option the innovative Drift Mode that creates an even more dynamic and athletic driving experience. Designed for use in the controlled environment of a closed road or race-track, this state-of-the art system automatically optimizes the distribution of driving power and the stability control system to assist the driver in sliding all-new GV60 through corners,” Genesis said.
The GV60s are going on sale across Europe on June 6. You can pre-order at www.genesis.com.
What to buy
The whole Genesis venture in Europe is aimed directly at the premium Germans Audi, Mercedes and BMW. To win against this opposition will take some doing, and the automotive graveyard is full of the corpses that have tried. Think Nissan’s Infiniti, GM’s Cadillac, Jaguar, and Alfa Romeo. Think of the abortive efforts of Ford Europe, Renault and Peugeot’s DS to eat into the upmarket-German hegemony. Result; much, trashed shareholder value. The pretenders could never convince punters their brand was anything more than a blinged up mass-market attempt. But Genesis has been very successful in the U.S. and has obviously mobilised huge resources for this battle. It has received big plaudits for its quality; that’s not enough. But in midst of this electric revolution, the Korean’s excellence in this new sphere might be its winning hand. Even so, its electric capabilities are only par for the course so far.
|Genesis GV60 AWD Dual Motor (Sport Plus)|
|(*estimated at indicated 75 mph)|
|Electric motor:||front 242 hp, rear 242 hp, 476 hp|
|Battery:||77.4 kWh, lithium-ion, 697 volts|
|Claimed range:||289 miles, city 386|
|Claimed electricity consumption:||19.1 kw/100 km|
|WintonsWorld test range:||no comparable data yet|
|Highway cruising*:||no comparable data yet|
|Charging:||350 kW 18 minutes, 50 kW 73 minutes to 80%, wallbox 11 kW 7 hours 20 minutes|
|Top Speed:||146 mph|
|Acceleration:||0-60 mph – 3.9 seconds|
|CO2:||zero at tailpipe|
|Boot capacity:||1,550/680 litres, frunk 20|
|Competition:||Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus|
|Rating:||**** out of 5|
|Price:||£66,405 ($82,000 after tax and before subsidies)|
|For:||handsome, great interiors, impressive drive, high-quality|
|Against:||not German, standard electric technology|
(Genesis provided hotels and air fares)