[TEST DRIVE] Genesis impresses big-time with all-electric GV60 SUVGenesis is coming late to the electric vehicle (EV) market, but with the GV60 SUV, Korea's highest end car brand shows it wants to do all-electric right.
The GV60 is Genesis’ first model made on the E-GMP production platform, which has been designed from scratch for electric vehicles rather than being a modification of how internal combustion vehicles were made.
The GV60 is top-notch in every way. It has a sporty driving performance absent from previous E-GMP-made models such as Hyundai's Ioniq 5 and Kia's EV6.
The exterior design is unique for a Genesis model. It's futuristic and youthful looking, and had dispensed with the brand’s signature Crest Grille.
Genesis says it wants to differentiate the GV60 SUV from other luxury EVs like the Tesla Model X and Mercedes EQC by allowing it to “communicate” with its owner.
That means a bunch of new technologies have been introduced in this midsize SUV.
The Korea JoongAng Daily recently got to test drive an all-wheel version of the GV60.
A facial recognition function is one of the model's key new features.
In advance, of course, one has to input one's face, which one does through a bespoke camera on the B-pillar of the vehicle. Two faces can be registered. The process takes about 10 seconds.
When this reporter donned a baseball cap later on, the car still recognized her face and unlocked the door.
Genesis says through a deep-learning algorithm, the car is able to recognize faces even with sunglasses on, or on a dark, gloomy day.
This function is standard in all-wheel drive versions of the GV60, but not available for regular models.
To turn the car on, a driver swipes a finger on a small biometric sensor on the center console. Again, no key is required.
When the engine is on, a crystal sphere on the center console rotates to unveil a set of gear shifts, signaling that the car is ready to hit the road.
The fingerprint recognition function is standard on all versions.
The circular design of the crystal sphere is echoed throughout the interior, in a circular speaker and side mirror controller on the inside of the door.
On the exterior, although the GV60 has Genesis' signature dual-lined headlamps, the smaller grill and thin, sharp headlamps reduce the luxe vibe of the GV70 or GV80.
Fans of the old Genesis look might be skeptical about the GV60.
Its exterior color palette is new for the Genesis brand, including bright lime and sky blue. Genesis clearly wants to appeal to younger customers, which have not been a core constituency.
On the road, the GV70 exhibited no compromises in performance.
It was able to offer a smooth and gentle ride on a congested road full of speed bumps.
On highways, it was able to pull off a dynamic and extremely fast driving performance with the help of a new Boost button, which no other EV model from the Hyundai Motor Group has offered.
Pressing the Boost button on the steering wheel gives the vehicle an immediate boost in acceleration. That means the GV60 can go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in only four seconds.
When pressed in Sports mode, the acceleration was nearly on par with German models -- which take acceleration seriously.
The GV60 is offered in three types: standard, all-wheel standard and all-wheel drive performance, all of which run on the same 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery. The all-wheel drive performance version tested has a range of 368 kilometers per charge.
Its price starts from 59 million won ($49,000).
It is expected to launch in the United States next year.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]