For many keeping an eye on the electric vehicle scene, too often we see all the big names come out of Germany or the United States. However, a new challenger has slowly been entering the market hoping to compete in the big leagues. This challenger is the Genesis range, born from Hyundai’s ambition to present Korea as a strong legitimate competitor to the American and German manufacturers. While Hyundai has been making really interesting electric vehicles these past few years, the Genesis is their commitment to compete with other luxury brands such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW.
Genesis has officially launched their electronic range in Australia this month with the luxury electronic vehicle range including the electrified GV60, GV70 and G80. The Genesis has been making waves in Europe recently after its launch of the Genesis GV70 Electronic SUV, showcasing its innovative tech and commitment to driving comfort. So far, they have been proving that the automotive industry needs to pay attention to what Korea is doing.
While usually positioning itself as a design-forward brand in the past, recently they’ve announced a strong commitment to a sustainable-focused future for its vehicles. Starting in 2025, all new Genesis vehicles launched will be pure electric vehicles and by 2030, Genesis will establish itself as a 100% zero-emission vehicle brand. Additionally, they intend to innovate the entire value chain, pursuing carbon net zero by 2035, a fifteen-year head start on Australia’s goal.
An admirable endeavour to be sure, but let’s look at the cars themselves and if they match modern expectations for a luxury vehicle.
The electrified GV60 was the first EV introduced for Genesis’ EV range, setting the stage for future brand staples. Delivering up to 360kW of power, the Genesis GV60 has exceptional versatility and usability, while also offering unrivalled comfort and driving pleasure. It can also charge from 10% to 80% battery in just 18 minutes.
Without an engine, the team at Genesis decided to implement a unique glass-like sphere in the centre console. This sphere rotates around to reveal a shifter, informing the driver whether the car is active or not, as the car itself is fairly silent. This piece of tech is insanely sexy and futuristic and is a testament to how wild the designers were when they developed the car.
Personally, I think this is a really creative solution to a safety issue some find with EV’s while adding to the regal design of the car. You’ve got actual buttons around the wheel and the console, not touch-sensitive buttons which I find to be more frustrating than beneficial. It also comes with great new screens, that have an incredibly quick interface, allowing quick and seamless transitions and keeping that luxury experience. However, there is also an I-drive style dial and home menus if you want to avoid touch screen menus.
While on the topic of the design, let’s mention its exterior. The GV60 sports iconic Quad Lamps, resulting in a distinctive two-line graphic down the front side of the car. Everything in the presentation of the GV60 appears clean and uncluttered. All areas of the car have been acutely designed to match the company’s desire for an athletic and youthful character for this car.
Even the door handles themselves keep to the athletic nature of the car as they fold in to keep the dimensions of the car smooth and uncluttered. The distinctive DLO chrome trim of the GV60 wraps around the windscreen and flows towards the rear spoiler, supporting the floating roof and connecting it with the C pillar through the Volt DLO. A ducktail spoiler that helps the air cut smoothly off the back. This builds into the body surfacing of the GV60, as the appearance still retains a seamless and minimal exterior without undercutting its character lines. However, the muscular volumes bulging beneath the surface, pushing out the wide stance give the car its distinct and glamorous presence.
Its performance packs a punch as well. Making up for the engine, the GV60 includes a boost mode, which gives you max overtaking power for ten seconds which will help with that lack of the engine and give all the car enthusiasts the fun they might desire when it comes to going fast yet respectfully furious. While in drift mode as well, the car can go from zero to sixty in under four seconds. We can expect three different powertrains to be offered eventually, for those immediately eager, the all-wheel drive arrangements with dual motors will be available at the GV60’s launch.
In design and appearance, all these aspects help make this car a comfortable Tesla rival, but what really helps the GV60 stand out is its whisper-quiet cabin when cruising, while also being an elegant and athletic vehicle to drive.
The GV70 delivers a competitive all-electric range (AER) that emphasises battery life and various forms of charging infrastructure. It is also underpinned by state-of-the-art electrical architecture that delivers an incredible driving performance. Based on the CLTC standard, the estimated max range per charge is over 500km. This model has added 350kw rapid charging, which enables the battery to charge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. The car also can be installed with a 400v/800v multi-rapid charging system which will allow the driver to use various types of charging infrastructures.
The GV70 also supports a V2L (Vehicle to Load) feature that supports a 3.6kW charge (more than what the average house outputs), which will allow owners to charge electrical appliances outside of the vehicle seamlessly. This means the car can essentially become a mobile power bank for you, letting you power your own outdoor cinema, pack your own mobile barbeque or power certain gardening or other domestic tools where an appliance would be difficult to access.
While a strong and consistent battery, how is it as an actual car? Equipped with a boost mode, the GV70 can take you from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. In addition, this model of car is the first Genesis model to feature the SUV-specific e-Terrain, making driving off-road or in rough environments safer and less stressful. The steering has a great on-centre feel that makes it incredibly fun to drive that does not sacrifice performance for comfort.
But what an EV really needs to stand out is to have a standout design. Created to embody a “love at first sight” feeling, the Genesis range continues its new distinctive Quad Light look, highlighting a simple trapezoidal grille that is both dramatic and elegant. What’s also exciting is when the brake lights are activated, they shine like a Batmobile. The sleek and elegant coupe-like roofline, along with the dropping chrome line of the C-pillar, accentuates the GV70’s unique character.
A personal favourite feature of mine is that the needle on the rev gauge looks like a lightsabre. It’s a small touch, but any tech that gets people to actually look at their speed gets an endorsement from me. It also comes with an eighteen-speaker lexicon sound speaker. The GV70 keeps that great and incredibly simple interface from the GV60. In fact, everything in the interface has been simplified in comparison to other luxury brands, ditching the clutter of other touch-sensitive interfaces in favour of actual buttons as well.
What the GV70 represents is the chance of owning something newer, bolder and more unique compared to other luxury SUVs in the market today due to its incredible ease of use, enhanced comfort and next-level tech.
Genesis hasn’t put all their eggs in one basket and relied just on electrified SUVs for their entire range, they’ve also made a luxury sedan as well. The electrified G80 is the electrified update to the original G80, which keeps many core features intact. The car performs almost as well as the original G80 despite lacking an engine. In updating their cars to electric models, Genesis has opted to retain as much of the original identity the original cars had, without falling into the temptation to deck them out with crazy electric vehicle tech and aesthetics. There are however some key changes that make the car distinctly electric.
On the exterior, where an unelectrified Genesis grille would normally have an opening to keep the internal combustion engine cool, the electrified G80 has actually closed off the port. Instead, this is where you would find the charger for the car. I love this as keeping the charger at the front means you won’t have to drag the charging cables over the car to the side which can sometimes damage the paintwork.
The battery for the EV G80 can charge up to 800/v and 350kw. This means the car can comfortably go from 10% to 80% in about 22 minutes. The car comes with an 87.2kw hour battery pack, which provides 500 kms of driving range. As a final bonus feature of the battery, the EV G80 supports a 3.6kl V2L (Vehicle To Load). The EV G80 also combines the battery with its exterior appearance, as the roof of the car is fitted with two solar panels. While these won’t be enough to necessarily charge your car, they will help in giving your car enough charge to run auxiliary cooling systems or other car features comfortably.
While design is integral to the Genesis brand, the most important part of the car should be how it handles. Despite being a big and heavy car for a sedan at least, it still feels nimble and agile to drive. Equipped with two electric motors; one on the front and rear axils, together they produce up to 272 kw’s of power and provides 700nm of torque.
For a luxury car made for agile driving, you’d want reassurance the car can keep its driver safe while it performs. To help keep you and the car safe, Genesis has absolutely stacked the EV G80 with top-end safety gear similar to what’s available in the EV GV70. However, a feature that I find really interesting is the camera on the dash that peaks ahead, adjusting the suspension dampeners to compensate for rougher terrain.
The EV G80 is an excellent luxury vehicle if you consider yourself a futurist and also want the “cyberpunk nightlife driving” aesthetic. And with those 21 lexicon speakers, blasting the Drive soundtrack will be compulsory.
Even if you’re not in the market for a luxury EV, you have to admit that there are exciting innovations coming to the Aussie market. Looking at the promises Hyundai are making, it should be an interesting few years to see how competition also steers towards green energy.
Following an announcement from Hyundai, the company plans to target 7% of the global EV market by 2030. They will also be introducing seventeen BEV models, with six of those models from Genesis’ luxury brand. With two being passenger cars and four SUVs including the Electrified GV70 this year. Starting in 2025, all newly launched models from Genesis will be electrified.
The biggest hurdle in the near future for EVs, outside of tax laws, will be the fight for next-generation batteries, such as the solid-state battery. Hyundai has announced they are cooperating with various global partners to improve energy density and cost efficiency moving forward in the future. My hope is that this helps EV batteries avoid a similar issue we were facing with the processing chip shortage last year.
The Genesis EV range is out now. Take a peek here to further suss out the range.
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