Test Drive: Genesis Electrified GV70

The stunning vehicle furthers the carmaker's seemingly unstoppable momentum

Since it launched as an independent brand by Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group in 2015, Genesis has delivered a consistently unique blend of design, performance and luxury, standing out in an oversaturated field. The Electrified GV70 marks a new dimension in that winning formula: a fully electric powertrain, adding instant torque to the acclaimed GV70 line-up.

The aptly named Electrified GV70 is a fully electrified GV70, rather than a standalone line with another name concurrent to its internal combustion twin. Genesis is betting that the base product line is strong enough as is, giving customers the choice of powertrain rather than having to get to know an entirely different model for the sake of going electric. It’s not hard to see why; the Electrified GV70 (which is available now and starts at $65,850) has been widely lauded for its design inside and out, won multiple awards from various automotive publications, and has become one of the carmaker’s best-selling models.

The electrified version of the luxury crossover shares most bodywork with the standard car, with minor differences to signify its electric propulsion. The large grille becomes solid due to the lack of need for airflow, and a small “G” in one of its diamonds invites drivers to press and reveal the charging port.

The rear fascia drops exhaust cutouts and applies an Electrified-exclusive diffuser in their place. It all comes together like it did on the existing GV70—quite beautifully, with rakish lines and unique lighting design unlike anything else in the segment.

“Our philosophy for this product, and our brand as a whole, revolves around the Korean concept of ‘son-nim,’ a term that means honored guest,” explains Yanny Pyo, the US product manager for the Electrified GV70. This is noticeable upon opening the solid, substantial door. The design team utilized the cross-section of a commercial jet’s wing as inspiration for many of its interior lines; with its large, rounded dashboard and center tunnel pieces enveloping the driver and passengers without overdoing it.

While the design inspiration comes from a commercial jet, the cabin’s appointments are anything but economy class. Nearly every touchpoint is tactile and luxurious, and there are many material choices here that you don’t see in other competitors. Its large, jewelry-inspired infotainment control wheel is textured differently than the circular gear selector just below it to ensure drivers can feel, rather than just see, the difference between the two. Multicolor ambient lighting emanates from the dashboard, center tunnel and various places around the interior, bathing it in the soft glow of whatever color the driver fancies. A new Glacier White upholstery color and “Fog Scratched” gray aluminum trim are exclusive to the EV model; the aluminum trim in particular feels distinctly high-end.

On the tech front, the Electrified carries over the standard GV70’s user interface and already-excellent driver assistance systems that are present in many Hyundai Motor Group products. It all gets a Genesis polish here, and for those who aren’t familiar with the brand’s products already, there’s some alluring tech touches like a 3D-effect gauge cluster and biometric fingerprint scanner for security. Sitting at the top of the GV70 lineup nearly all of the tech is standard equipment.

We had the opportunity to explore a variety of roads in the Electrified GV70, and it excelled on all of them. The ride-handling balance is luxurious without being floaty, and the heavy battery pack keeps the center of gravity low and planted. It has a nuanced steering feel, a surprise not only in this segment but across the Korean brand’s line-up that has earned it much praise. The airy yet sporty interior offers a vast outward view of the road, and its panoramic full-length moonroof ensures lots of natural light while traveling.

The battery pack is a 77.4 kWh unit paired with two 160 kW electric motors on each axle. System power comes out to 429hp, and there’s a fun “Boost” mode function activated by a button on the thick-rimmed sport steering wheel that increases power delivery to 490hp for 10 seconds. Utilizing Boost from a full stop gives occupants that shot-out-of-a-cannon sensation associated with even higher-end electric SUVs like the BMW iX. It’s seriously quick. The Electrified GV70 supports both AC and DC fast charging set-ups, and Genesis offers complimentary charging for three years via Electrify America. Buyers can expect around 236 miles of range.

After spending the day behind the wheel, we find the aforementioned inspiration from high-end air travel palpable, along with the fact that it leans into its Korean roots instead of shying away. The brand truly lives out its concept of son-nim; if you have the chance visit Genesis House in NYC’s Meatpacking District that invites guests to sample tea from Korea’s famous Osulloc brand, food, hospitality and product offerings revolving around Genesis. “It really goes back to that trifecta of design, hospitality and technology,” says Wendy Orthman, executive director of marketing for Genesis Motor America. “We will continue to strive towards a great balance of each, rather than only focusing on one.”

If the focus on that balance produced the Electrified GV70, then there’s likely many more desirable vehicles to come from Genesis. Learn more about the  Electrified GV70 at Genesis.

Images courtesy of Genesis