Genesis G70 – the Birth of a Brand
This it the car that can make or break the Genesis brand. What about the previously released G90 and G80? These relied heavily on the Hyundai Genesis brand, this is the first car to go to market as only Genesis.
Hyundai, poached some heavy hitters to create the flagship model that is going to propel the Genesis brand without the Hyundai branding to prop it up. Albert Biermann, ex-BMW vice-president of engineering, defected to Hyundai after 32 years with BMW. He is known for his work on BMW’s iconic M Division, you can see touches of BMW all over the Genesis G90. You may even see hints of Bentley, Audi and/or Lamborghini from designer Luc Donkerwolke. You’ll also see much of it’s Kia Stinger sibling, including the same engine, and built on the same platform.
The design is modern but not ground-breaking, this is a car to take on BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the mid-range premium bracket. We are still waiting on an Australian release price, but we can expect the Genesis to start at the $50k mark and climb up to the $75k mark for the top of the range offering – it’s a nice safe spot within the affordable premium market and considerably lower than it’s target BMW and M-Benz rivals.
There is nothing safe about launching a new brand into the highly competitive automotive market, regardless of Genesis’ initial start sharing Hyundai branding, the G70 is the pioneer of the Genesis brand. This is an expensive venture, and you can see in the design and strategy that Genesis is trying to make this as safe a bet as they can – targeting the mid-range premium market, polished sexy design, but without eccentricities. Genesis has taken calculated risks, but it has come at the expense of launching with a ground-breaking design. The question isn’t whether the G70 looks the part of a premium car, it’s whether the G70 is interesting enough to attract buyers from what is already on the market, with far more brand recognition.
The answer to that question comes down to performance.
Let’s talk specs, starting with the engine. There are two engines that will be available across the three levels within the G70. Starting with a turbo charged 2.0 litre unit to 3.3 bi-turbo litre V6 – the same engine in the upcoming Kia Stinger. The highest performance variant is set to reach 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, hitting a top speed of 270km/h – not that there is much opportunity to hit those speeds within Australia, but regardless, the car comes with guts. The G70 comes in an all-wheel and rear-wheel drive, but only the rear-wheel drive is set to hit the Australian market. We expect the V6 to share key components with the upcoming Kia Stinger, including adaptive dampers, apex seeking torque vectoring, and mechanical limited slip-diff.
As for handling from early reviews it performs well, very well, and feels very much the luxury car with only the one point of complaint – it feels a little soft; but, that’s a complaint the Australian market won’t have to worry about, this is based on reviews of the AWD, the rear-wheel drive would give it that extra ‘oompf’.
So far we have a sexy exterior, strong performance, but how luxurious does it feel in the drivers seat? There is no point paying a premium, if you can’t feel it behind the wheel.
The Genesis G70 won’t disappoint. The interior feels reminiscent of a Bentley, from the stitching of the seats, the winged emblem, to the metal polishes throughout. If you’re not a fan of the pictured vanilla beige interior it also comes in Obsidian Black, Sandstorm Grey, Velvet Burgundy and Tobacco Brown – with the addition of two sports trims in red and grey. As you can see from the image, the interior did not skim on the small embellishments that distinguish the average finish from the premium.
All in all, we see the Genesis G70 as a very solid offering to launch the Hyundai-less Genesis brand. It has polish, performance and a very attractive price point. It has all the elements required to stake out a claim in the mid-sized premium car market – but it’s not enough for the car look and feel premium, which it does, the Genesis brand will need to feel premium.
As for that, time will tell, but we are hopeful that this is a great start for the brand.