RE: 2022 Genesis GV60 | PH Review

RE: 2022 Genesis GV60 | PH Review

Friday 13th May

2022 Genesis GV60 | PH Review

Genesis needs to make a big splash with its new EV. Perhaps 490hp will help...


Should Genesis have launched its European onslaught with the all-electric GV60, rather than a suite of traditional saloons and SUVs? It certainly feels like Hyundai’s fancier relation might have made a bigger splash with this, and not just because its fastback-crossover form is oddly arresting in person, all short overhangs and pent-up intention.

The man behind its chassis tuning – Tyrone Johnson, who fettled the Mk3 Ford Focus RS – certainly has his heart set on electric. And for someone with a strong, petrol-powered CV, he’s really rather bullish on the matter. 

“I’m always surprised at how many engineers are nostalgic about internal combustion engine powertrains,” he tells me. “I don’t understand that. Why are people reminiscing about ICE cars? Everything is worse on them. EVs are a huge opportunity for doing so much more – not just with the powertrain itself, but how the various ESC systems work together. Everything you do on ICE is a band-aid; a piece of software to fix a fundamental problem. The industry has done a superb job of doing that, but EVs start off without any of those problems.”

As if to prove the point, his first plug-in Genesis comes with a fairly scintillating amount of power and Drift Mode. Yep, rather like the one he brought to market – and kickstarted a controversial trend with – on the Focus RS. Johnson works across Hyundai, Kia and Genesis and needs to find ways to make each product stand out from the other; given how impressive the Ioniq 5 and EV6 already are, their GV60 cousin needed something of note. Its oddly dynamic spec sheet is it.

Mind you, not all GV60s are hardwired for hooliganism. The range kicks off at £47,005 for a 229hp rear-drive model with a 321-mile range, the furthest any current GV60 will go. The Sport starts at £53,605 and boasts a 318hp total from twin motors (for AWD) and a 292-mile range. Then there’s £65,405 Sport Plus, replete with Drift Mode and punchier twin motors for a faintly staggering 490hp peak and only slightly dented 289-mile range. Crucially, all use the same 77.4kWh battery that’s hooked up to ultra-fast 800v charging architecture. The claim is a 10-80 per cent boost in as little as 18 minutes, but in reality you’ll probably stop for half an hour and have an indulgent caffeine break.

I’ll get the entry-level car out of the way in a paragraph. If you’re sold on the looks and the Genesis aftercare package – basically never having to be face-to-face with a dealer at any point of ownership – then it’s the cheapest, rangiest and therefore smartest buy. It’s just not memorable to drive.

Better to leapfrog straight into the headline Sport Plus. Genesis had the good heart to host its media drive in Germany, and while occupying the outside lane of derestricted autobahn does little for EV range, it’s an irresistible party trick. I nudge the GV60’s uncommonly high 146mph vmax with relative ease and with no real tail-off in its accelerative force leading up to it. Not great for battery life, of course, but crucial for helping convince me there’s something of note going on beneath the skin. I feel childish enjoying the moment so much but the genuine surprise of such astonishing performance has me grinning like an idiot, all the more so because the experience is largely silent, much of the road noise outside swallowed up by an active road noise cancellation function built into the (optional) B&O stereo.

It doesn’t especially put a foot wrong away from straight roads, either. It just allies light, relatively feel-less steering to an abundance of grip – those massive 21-inch wheels come wrapped in impressive Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres – for a slightly soulless experience. You can loosen the ESC, but even activating Drift Mode doesn’t fundamentally change the car’s character on dry tarmac. I suspect it’s a ‘use it once in an empty car park’ gimmick, and you’ll not go through its overwrought (but kinda fun) initialisation process more than a handful of times. More satisfying day-to-day are the way the seat bolsters grapple you tighter when you select Sport on the drive mode toggle, or the little haptic buzz when you click between R, N and D on the gear selector, which sits the other side of a quirky – but not unappealing – crystal ball. Yeah, EVs are about finding joy in different places…

Speaking of which, the switchgear feels a useful step up from Genesis’ Korean cousins. You get a similar touchscreen layout (and the same annoying beeps and bongs) as a Hyundai, but all the materials you regularly touch are a tangible cut above an Ioniq. And this feels a crossover designed around those who sit in the front. In a case of classic EV packaging issues, the batteries have elevated the floor for rear passengers and adults will feel a bit hemmed in, unable to neatly slot their feet under the front seats. But Genesis clearly knows that anyone spending big money on one of these probably isn’t buying it as sensible family transport.

The price is astonishing, yes, not least because the car we drove – with the fancy B&O stereo, cameras-for-mirrors and a few option packs – approached £77k. Remember when that was junior supercar money? I feel like my internal calculator is still stuck there. When a Taycan starts at £74k, a pricier top-rung GV60 is a tough sell to enthusiasts hoping to leap across to electric. Surely you’d go Porsche if you could afford to? The Sport Plus does sit on par with a Mustang Mach-E GT in terms of price, power and general swagger, though.

Given it directly rivals a product of Johnson’s former employer, the GV60’s Drift Mode feels even more provocative. Has his team fitted a fairly incongruous piece of tech to a posh plug-in SUV to shock the establishment? “Yes,” Johnson unequivocally replies. “Genesis want to do it differently. There isn’t 50 years of history behind us. Audi couldn’t wake up tomorrow and say ‘we going to do everything differently’. But Genesis can.”

Put in those terms – from the mouth of its own senior engineering staff – maybe the GV60 really is what Genesis should have launched here first, even if it ultimately just drives as tidily as any other EV crossover, albeit more quickly. And with a similar shortage of soul, for those of us still hung up on cars being imbued with the stuff (sorry Tyrone). Nevertheless, there are glimmers of fun and frivolity built into its spec sheet, and its driving experience. The road to genuinely driver-appeasing EVs still feels long, but Genesis has the right attitude to quicken its pace along it.


Specification | Genesis GV60 AWD Sport Plus

Engine: Dual 160kW motors, 77.4kWh battery
Transmission: Single-speed, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 490
Torque (lb ft): 516
0-62mph: 4.0sec
Top speed: 146mph
Weight: 2095kg
Range: 289 miles
CO2: 0g/km
Price: £65,405 basic/£76,835 as tested

Author
Discussion

SydneyBridge

Original Poster:

6,482 posts

135 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Like it, but the Genesis name means nothing in the Uk, so would prefer the hyundai or Kia

I dont see it as a Taycan rival, no one spends £70k on a taycan, with all the 'must have options'

Edited by SydneyBridge on Thursday 12th May 10:47

aestivator

80 posts

7 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
What a load of sales-y bks from our engineer friend here.

Ask why people are nostalgic for ICE powertrains, then release £77k turd that looks like a fridge and drives like one too.

I'm not anti-EV, but to say "everything is better on them" is ridiculous. Get back to me when I can drive my EV 500 miles on a charge and then completely refill it in under 5 minutes...

DevonPaul

781 posts

114 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
I can just imagine the design meetings...
"Yeah, we're nearly there, just need to remove a couple more features and it will be bland enough to go to market".
Followed 3 months later by
"OK, who the F%&& missed the daimond quilting on those seat? The brief was 'no distinguishing features ' "

SidewaysSi

10,425 posts

211 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
What a hateful pile of smoking poo. But you have to love quilted seats - just what we want.

charltjr

4,276 posts

172 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
aestivator said:
I'm not anti-EV, but to say "everything is better on them" is ridiculous. Get back to me when I can drive my EV 500 miles on a charge and then completely refill it in under 5 minutes...
Congratulations, post 2 and we're there already laugh

He's certainly correct in terms of the powertrain, ICE is technically a much poorer solution than electric motors and is shot through with fixes to manage it's many deficiencies.

They can sound bloody good though.

pb8g09

1,288 posts

46 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Almost ashamed to say there's something about this that I quite like the look of - maybe it's just the quilted seats.

I don't like it enough to open my wallet mind you.

whp1983

817 posts

116 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
A £70k suv, ugly, from a brand that will soon be disappearing from these shores…. Not quite the future I was hoping for!

Many things in life are objectively better but not what you want:
I’d rather a Rolex over an iwatch… a fountain pen over a biro… etc

I do realise may daily driver may soon be electric…. But it absolutely won’t be this!!

DSLiverpool

13,533 posts

179 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
After having the top Ioniq5 for 6 months I was interested in this as the ioniq cabin was cheap. However £75k and it looks the same - no ta.

raspy

695 posts

71 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Amazing! I've contacted Genesis about the entry level model in Sao Paulo Lime (looks stunning) with the Innovation Pack. I like the way they approach customer service.

DoctorX

5,970 posts

144 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
What a hateful pile of smoking poo. But you have to love quilted seats - just what we want.
I don't know why quilted seats are a thing. Looks horrible. Not a fan of the rest of the car either.

Groaver

24 posts

10 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
DoctorX said:
I don't know why quilted seats are a thing.
The best toilet paper design...

aestivator

80 posts

7 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
charltjr said:
Congratulations, post 2 and we're there already laugh

He's certainly correct in terms of the powertrain, ICE is technically a much poorer solution than electric motors and is shot through with fixes to manage it's many deficiencies.
That's just not true though is it? The claim was that EVs are better at everything. Every engineer knows that everything is trade-off. The major disadvantage of EVs is currently range, and charging times / infrastructure. No point pretending otherwise, unless you're a salesman.

In terms of the actual car, I don't see what boxes this is really ticking, other than 'large status symbol'. Dynamically interesting? Nope. Cheap? No. Practical? Not really, or no better than an ICE vehicle. Nice looking? Subjective, but the proportions are odd at best. I'm sure it will appeal to a certain demographic, but the one in the photos looks like it belongs in a gated community in California.

The market will of course decide, but my sales predictions are double digits.

SidewaysSi

10,425 posts

211 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Groaver said:
DoctorX said:
I don't know why quilted seats are a thing.
The best toilet paper design...
Better than 3ply on your arse that's for sure..

Jon_S_Rally

1,889 posts

65 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
I think Tyrone is rather missing the point of why people like the ICE, but never mind.

This doesn't do much for me to be honest. It just looks a bit featureless. It's not ugly, but it's not pretty either. It's just a bit nothing-y.

Twinair

187 posts

119 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Lol, don’t mind it, but er £70k large…? Glad I don’t and won’t have one… Quilted seats tho…!

pSyCoSiS

3,187 posts

182 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Genesis are doing big things and seem to be aiming very high.

I took a look on their website the other day, and their top-line GV90 looks like an impressive bit of kit with a lot of features and tech. And a decent interior.

This interior does not appeal to me.

ChrisCh86

416 posts

21 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Tyrone is right - powertrain wise, it is easier with electric infrastructure - there are no compromises when it comes to powertrain.

It's just the rest of the car that is a huge compromise (i.e. the large battery pack) - heavy and with awkward rear seating as a result of the battery position.


I like the idea of a fun electric car, but they haven't got there yet (unless you're spending £1m+). Plus it's just too expensive with that badge in the UK - we won't pay that much unless it's got a premium German badge.

Hopefully it'll sell well in the US though

Harrypop

2,458 posts

99 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
I quite like the interior for what is is, not that I have any real interest in the car itself. It's a clean design which goes a long way to successfully incorporating the now obligatory masses of screens with, more importantly to me personally, a decent amount of physical knobs and buttons.

The roof line at the rear doesn't seem to match the rest of the car in the photos but maybe that's just the perception given by it being in two dimensions.

Edited by Harrypop on Thursday 12th May 12:20

CrippsCorner

2,128 posts

158 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
I just don't understand why this car needs to exist. Doesn't bring anything new... bland, but expensive. Interior is a weird mix, not sure I like it.

Harrypop

2,458 posts

99 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
CrippsCorner said:
I just don't understand why this car needs to exist. Doesn't bring anything new... bland, but expensive. Interior is a weird mix, not sure I like it.
That's wiped out the need for 95% of all new cars then.