While the first all-electric Genesis, the GV60, is heavily based on its corporate siblings, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, it has been given the space needed to exist on its own considerable merits.
It is stylish and has a more dignified look that its more mainstream counterparts. This aspect runs from the full LED headlights and neat clam-shell hood to the discrete rear lip spoiler. However, as with its siblings, the lack of a rear wiper is a hang-up, as is the split view the spoiler creates in the rear view mirror. Thankfully, these nits fade the instant the drive begins.
There are two models — the Advanced and Performance. What separates the two is the front electric motor. In the case of the Performance, it has been upgraded from a 99 horsepower motor to the same 214.5 hp unit used to drive the rear wheels. This upgrade means the Performance delivers a hefty one-two punch — 429 hp and 446 pound-feet of torque.
The second thing that differentiates the two is a bright yellow button that sits on the steering wheel. The “Boost” button gives the driver an extra shot of juice for 10 seconds. When activated, the power soars to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Simply put, the GV60 is very fast in mortal mode and manic in Boost mode — I clocked a run from rest to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds using it!
The two electric motors also deliver a seamless all-wheel-drive extension with a mechanical limited-slip differential adding to the overall ability. The same for the driving modes. There are Eco, Comfort, Sport and a mix-and-match individual mode. Forget Eco unless the range is perilously low. Comfort is best, except when it’s time to hoon; here Sport mode does it best.
The motors get their power from a 77.4-kilowatt/hour battery. During the test it was showing a driving range of 422 kilometres when fully charged. What impressed was that the distance-to-empty information was updated so frequently it gave a true reflection of how far the GV60 can actually drive. The pictogram in the multimedia screen that shows this aspect is one of the best depictions of its type.
Likewise, the regenerative braking has been done well. Along with the usual modes, there is a one-pedal drive. It is easily modulated, so it’s not necessary to switch to a softer regen mode on the highway. The nit is one-pedal has to be engaged before every drive. The driver should be able to set it as the default mode.
The charge times are so-so. Forget a 110-volt outlet; 68 hours says it all. A Level 2 charger tops things off in a respectable seven hours. The so-so part is found in the DC fast charger times. While a 350-kW DC fast charger takes the battery from 10 percent to 80 percent in 18 minutes; it takes a longish 73 minutes to do the same with the more common 50-kW DC fast charger.
Where the GV60 comes as a really pleasant surprise is the manner in which it drives. The Performance gets a more sophisticated electronically-controlled suspension with Road Preview.
Based on road conditions spied by the forward-facing camera and info from the navigation, the suspension automatically alters the damping forces to deliver optimal body control. More importantly, it delivers the right balance. In comfort it is just that; in Sport it firms to dial out body roll and puts more weight in the steering. In the end, the GV60 handles like a much lighter, tighter ride — at 2,200-kilograms, it is heavy!
Inside, the GV60 takes the basics and adds a healthy dose of luxury. Some of technology at play is welcome and speaks to its position on the EV ladder; other aspects are a little over the top. On the plus side is Face Connect. This allows the driver to unlock the crossover by simply looking at a camera. The system also stores driver profiles, so the head-up display, driver’s seat, steering wheel, door mirrors and infotainment system match the recognized driver’s preferences. It takes the traditional memory set-up to the next level. Ditto the finger print recognition feature — placing a finger on the scanner at the front of the centre console allows the driver to drive.
Other aspects are more about the wow factor. Before starting the vehicle, there’s the “Crystal Sphere” sitting proudly in the middle of the centre console. It forms part of the mood lighting system. However, hit the start button and the Sphere flips over to reveal the shifter. It did generate some initial wow, but the novelty soon wore thin and left me wondering if there’s a way to manually invert the crystal ball in the event the automatic transformation fails.
The rest of the GV60 is class all the way. The fully-articulated, quilted Nappa leather-wrapped buckets offer a massage function — it feels like you are sitting on a squirming python! That aside, they do provide superior long-distance comfort. Ditto the rear seats. There’s plenty of room for a pair of adults to luxuriate in the heated outboard positions. With the seats up there’s 680 litres of cargo space and 1,550 L when folded.
Ahead of the driver sits a large, free-standing curved piece of glass that house two 12.3-inch screens. The reconfigurable instrumentation presents the important information in a clean and clear fashion. It also houses the clever Blind-Spot View Monitor. Use the turn signal and the view from a side mirror-mounted camera pops up in the instrument cluster.
Next is the latest version of the Genesis multimedia interface. It looks complicated at first with 18 tiles giving access to everything from the navigation, audio, phone and vehicle settings to seat adjustment and the owner’s manual. The saving grace is the driver can configure the tiles to suit. This simple function allows you to group your six favourite tiles on the main page, which eliminates endless swiping.
From a practical perspective, the best setup puts the navigation view in the instrumentation and the detailed range information in multimedia screen. Now, everything needed is front and centre and is supported by the full-on head-up display. Elsewhere, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, but only when wired. The other notable item is the 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The clarity of the sound it cranks out has to be enjoyed to be fully appreciated.
The 2023 Genesis GV60 Performance is both swift and swanky. The larger front electric motor puts some real spring it the performance and the manner in which the cabin is finish is first-class all the way. Granted some of the technology verges on being superfluous to real need, but as a package it comes together very nicely.
The Genesis GV60 starts at $71,150, with the Performance models starting at $79,000.