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Test Drive: The Electric Genesis GV60

On the road in Austin, Los Angeles and Seoul, the car defines the brand’s urban luxury ethos

By Evan Orensten

The first electric-only model from Genesis, the GV60 eschews the traditional hallmarks of luxury—gratuitous size, opulence and flash—in favor of a vision of what the future of luxury can be. It carries the brand’s ethos of crafting a luxury experience that is at once audacious, progressive and distinctly Korean, optimized for the city. It features all the zero-emission benefits of electric vehicles, while also delivering an experience typically associated with performance cars. It looks, and drives, like nothing else on the road, and it continues to captivate every time we get behind the wheel—which we’ve done in Austin, Los Angeles and Seoul. Credit the Genesis E-GMP platform (the same electrified platform that underpins the excellent Hyundai IONIQ5 and Kia EV6). That the three vehicles look so wildly different proves the versatility of the electric “skateboard” underpinning. Its flat componentry means that engineering no longer dictates design; rather, artistry—along with regulations—informs the final shape and form.   

By Evan Orensten

To Genesis, the GV60 is as much a performance vehicle as it is an EV, and each curve is purposefully designed to evoke a sense of athleticism. Though technically a mid-sized crossover it uses visual tricks—including a low ride height, bulging fenders, proportionally large wheels and a sleek coupe-like silhouette—to make it feel more like a hot hatch. Signature Genesis design flourishes all have a home here, including dual headlights, a one-piece clamshell hood, intricately machined wheels, a distinct greenhouse and split tail lamps. The Genesis logo on the hood is not only thinner than previous emblems, it also features a unique guilloché pattern evoking the precision of a fine timepiece. 

Beyond the twin high-resolution displays inside, the GV60 uses familiar smartphone features—notably face recognition and fingerprint recognition, allowing owners to leave their keys at home and drive using a look or touch. We found these to be especially handy while running around town with frequent stops. Technology also informs the interior materials, with the seats, arm rests and crash pads trimmed in new, sustainable plant-based leathers, and the door cards use screen printed, reflective inks as retrofuture-inspired embellishments.

A glowing, rotating “Crystal Sphere” resting in the floating center console is the interior’s centerpiece. The Crystal Sphere appears only when the vehicle is in Park mode, emitting a moody glow as the driver enters the vehicle. Once the start button is pressed, the sphere automatically rotates, revealing the signature Genesis shift-by-wire dial. Beyond its stunning appearance, the jewel-like orb lets the driver know that the vehicle is safely in Park. As with other Genesis vehicles key controls are physical buttons, all nicely weighted and easy to navigate by touch alone, allowing easy adjustments while keeping eyes safely on the road. 

The electric rearview mirror and its interior display by Josh Rubin

Inside and out, its design is full of moments that surprise and delight, and driving it is equally impressive. In South Korea and other markets the car offers digital side mirrors, which greatly enhance its exterior appeal and improve road visibility inside. The E-GMP platform enables a variety of configurations, allowing for optimized range, traction and performance. For the US market, this platform gives standard Genesis GV60 models 314 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Step up to the GV60 Performance AWD model and you get an electric thrill ride that boosts power output to 429 horsepower. The GV60’s low center of gravity and intelligent all-wheel drive makes it a silent, thrilling partner on mountain roads. Should you find yourself in a safe, controlled space, this performance-minded model offers some options to increase the intensity. 

Courtesy of Genesis

Pressing the steering wheel’s “Boost” button jumps total power up to 483 horsepower for 10 seconds, enabling a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) leap in just 4.0 seconds, making this the quickest Genesis ever. With 516 total pound feet of torque, acceleration is savage, no matter how fast (or slow) your starting speed. You can also enable the GV60’s drift mode, which gives the all-wheel drive system a rear-wheel bias, allowing the rear end to step out on demand. Or you can just leave the Genesis GV60 in drive and enjoy the effortless acceleration, relaxed ride and silent cabin. This is a vehicle that is ready to tailor itself to you. 

By Josh Rubin

The Genesis GV60 offers a compelling take on luxury, in all its definitions, bringing great design, premium comforts, effortless driving and heart-racing performance. It’s a vehicle that signals to the world that Genesis has cemented itself as a peer to established luxury automakers, proving that the future of luxury—and performance—is indeed electric.

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