The new Genesis GV60 will be the brand’s first electric car in Australia, and we’ve driven it already.
Genesis is a young brand in Australia and up to now, every model offered here has been petrol or diesel-engined, but that changes with this GV60 which is anticipated to go on sale here in mid-2022 (you can register your interest with Genesis now, though).
While the car itself is new, the platform that underpins it is a bit more familiar. The GV60 sits on parent company Hyundai’s E-GMP architecture, including the same 800-volt charging that allows for a 10-80 per cent top-up in as little as 18 minutes.
This is our first chance to try the more affordable rear-wheel-drive Premium model (as it is known overseas, Australian pricing and specifications are yet to be announced). This is, however, the cheapest and longest-range version available in Europe – we’ve also driven a prototype of the performance-oriented, all-wheel-driven GV60 Sport Plus.
Premium cars are rear-wheel drive and have LED lights, 19-inch alloys, twin 12.3-inch screens, a powered tailgate, and a reversing camera as some of the standard equipment.
Premium offers a claimed 517km of range and we managed closer to 470km in normal driving, not disrupted hugely by faster motorway speeds. While it may not have the punch offered by top-spec models, the Premium’s 166kW and 320Nm of torque feels enough in a car like this. The instant torque makes it seem much quicker than the numbers might suggest, too.
In fact, on the roads around Frankfurt this GV60 felt right at home. The chassis and suspension offer enough compliance and control, and make it feel engaging to drive, although it’s true the smaller wheels on our Premium test car seemed to offer a smoother ride, compared with the top-spec car’s complex camera-linked adaptive damping.
Refinement is another strong point, or at least it was in our test car, which featured a Bang & Olufsen sound system with trick active noise cancelling. The quietness was only really disrupted above 130km/h, which isn’t going to bother Australian drivers. Below these speeds, the GV60 is an impressively hushed car.
If you spend the majority of your time in town, it makes sense to lean heavily on the car’s fantastic regenerative brakes. The four settings are controlled via a pair of paddles on the back of the steering wheel; it’s a mystery why more brands don’t use such an intuitive system. We found the adaptive arrangement the most effective, slowing the GV60 to a complete stop just before the car in front. It means you can do 90 per cent of your driving using just one pedal.
While the interior design – much like the exterior – may not be to all tastes, you can’t argue with the build quality. Genesis harps on about luxury, and the GV60 certainly feels worthy of its lofty price when you’re sat inside. The chunky steering wheel is coated in plush, soft leather; contrasting stitching and piping covers the seats and dashboard.
The infotainment system is responsive, easy enough to use and full of the latest technology, but many owners will still bypass this with the standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Space and practicality are a mixed bag. The electric platform has let Genesis free up plenty of room for rear-seat passengers, and overall there’s more space in the back than you might expect for a car of this type. Boot capacity isn’t as generous, at 432 litres, but there is 53 litres of storage in the nose, too.
The GV60’s styling could win as many fans as it loses, while its practicality and packaging mean it will function just fine as a family car. One area in which Genesis hopes to truly separate itself from rivals is with its customer journey, setting “a new standard in the future of luxury mobility,” according to European CEO, Dominique Boesch.
The Genesis GV60 is another successful E-GMP-based model. It drives well, charges quickly, and feels every bit as luxurious and well-appointed as its anticipated price tag suggests. Its biggest competition arguably comes from within – Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 – but Genesis hopes its ownership experience will sway buyers who are on the lookout for a new kind of premium product.
|Model:||Genesis GV60 RWD Premium|
|Transmission:||Single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive|
|Charging:||240kW (10-80% 18mins)|
|On sale:||Mid-2022 (Australia)|