We discover the latest Genesis model updates – and take the GV60 and Electrified GV70 on some unusual manoeuvres…
Time flies. It’s just two years since Genesis (Hyundai’s upmarket brand) launched in the UK and Europe. Already, eight models have been launched – three of which are electric.
I was among a group of journalists invited to Berlin recently for the chance to have some fun in the GV60 and GV70 EVs at a proving ground, and to be given a demonstration of the enhanced technological features of the latest GV60.
I opted to drive an Electrified G80 to the test facility about half an hour outside Berlin. Not just an opportunity to arrive in style, but a chance to reacquaint myself with this zero emissions luxury saloon. Elegant and effortless, and with a claimed range of up to 323 miles, it’s a hidden gem.
The GV60 and GV70 tend to grab most of the spotlight for good reason. They are both excellent electric vehicles in their own ways, and now it was time to see how they perform in challenging conditions in a controlled environment under the guidance of instructors.
Our first test was to pull an empty horsebox weighing 1,200kg in a GV70 SUV. This may not sound impressive (thought the Electrified GV70 can tow a maximum of 1,800kg braked), but one of the great myths is that electric vehicles can’t tow at all.
Sure, EV towing capacities are currently not in the 3,500kg top league of big petrol/diesel SUVs and pick-ups, but 1,800kg braked means that trailers and smaller caravans can be towed.
We didn’t just pull a horsebox at regular speeds, we were given the chance to see how the combo copes in extreme conditions.
First we drove the GV70 at speed on a freshly soaked track – the kind of slippery surface that would worry a car driver without a horsebox hooked up.
Then we tested its acceleration and braking capabilities. No hanging about here – foot flat on the floor and full instant torque, followed by a stamp on the brake pedal from high speed.
Finally, a chance to tackle a slalom course – still with the horsebox in tow.
These are extreme scenarios for drivers with anything in tow. And to say the GV70 performed admirably would be an understatement.
Despite the slippery conditions, the GV70’s driving assistance and safety technologies kicked in, keeping the wheels from spinning and the horsebox in check.
The acceleration and braking test was equally impressive. Once again, the car was composed and the horsebox remained remarkably ‘stable’ in a scenario where alarming snaking and pitching might be expected.
Again, no swaying on the slalom course, where car and horsebox seemed in perfect harmony.
Overall, at no time did the horsebox feel or look out of control, while the GV70 performed as if the horsebox wasn’t there.
Next it was on to another smaller, artificially-soaked section of track (circular this time) for a fun test in a GV60 crossover, complete with all-wheel drive and a combined 429bhp.
There’s also a Boost button on the steering wheel that increases power the GV60’s power to 483bhp for a 10-second period, delivering 700Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque and a 0-62mph time of four seconds.
Crucially for our activity, we could also activate Drift mode, which gives the GV60 the more playful feel of a rear-wheel drive model.
As you know, drifting is (quite simply!) putting a car into oversteer and holding it there.
First I had a go with all the electronic aids switched on. The result was a car being driven around in a tight circle with no drama.
Next, the various features such as traction control and ESC Electronic Stability Control (all designed to keep the car stable) were switched off.
Easier said than done, especially in a confined space, but I think I finally managed a ‘circuit’ of drifting before I lost it and spun round as my speed increased.
All good fun, but there is a serious side to it all. Not only did the ‘workshop’ demonstrate how very capable and safe the GV60 and Electrified GV70 are, it also showed that EVs can be engaging and dynamic.
Finally, we got to test three clever pieces of security technology making their world debut in the Genesis GV60.
Using state-of-the-art facial recognition software and camera, Face Connect allows a driver to unlock the doors, prime the vehicle for starting and pre-load the user’s profile without using the key fob.
Setting the system up is a bit of a faff, but once it’s done you simply look into a camera on the B-pillar. It then scans your face, and hey presto!
As an extra layer of security, there’s Fingerprint Authentication via a touch sensor in the centre console. Not only will this allow you to start the car, it will automatically load your user profile, including settings for the multimedia, head-up display, seats and external mirrors.
This is a truly game-changing concept, but there’s more. Digital Key 2.0 allows owners to share access to their GV60 with up to three different smartphone users, each with their own individual profile.
Genesis is going places. Not just in terms of technology, but by 2025 all new Genesis models will be 100% electric. By 2030, it will be a completely zero emissions brand. And by 2035, it will be carbon neutral.