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All-electric Genesis with top-end luxury and technology

The GV60 is the first exclusively electric model from Genesis, reaching 100km/h in four seconds and adorned with luxurious appointments and plenty of tech.

February 19, 2023
By Peter Atkinson
19 February 2023

Korean luxury brand Genesis has wasted no time tapping into Australia’s growing demand, and desire, for electric vehicles.

In fact, of six models currently available in Australian showrooms, five offer the option of electric propulsion. Four of those are “electrified” versions – effectively models that were already available with internal combustion engines but have switched to emissions-free power.

And then there’s this one.

The GV60 is the Korean marque’s first exclusively electric model, and one that gives an impressive signpost to where Genesis is heading in style and technology.

Built on the same platform as its Hyundai EV sibling, the Ioniq5, as well as its corporate cousin, Kia’s sleek EV6, this all-singing, all-dancing GV60 whets the appetite for what might lie ahead for EV buyers. And what a future that is.

With its curvaceous and contemporary exterior design, its technology-filled cabin, and luxurious fit out, the GV marries stunning performance, solid range and a head-turning appearance.

Usually that combination of performance, technology and luxury is the province of ultra-premium brands, and usually at premium cost.

But the GV60 manages liberal doses of all three at a price lower than expected.

The entry-level version starts at $103,700 which delivers most of the style, tech and luxury inclusions. Shell out a few more grand for the top-spec performance model bringing in ballistic performance. In its peak mode it will reach the speed limit in a dazzling four seconds – just a tad behind a BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG.

It’s quicker, for instance, than either of its Korean EV compatriots. But not by much, and at roughly 80 grand, those two cars probably win the bang-for-your-buck argument.

But it’s the full-fruit version that seems likely to terrify most European rivals.

So what’s included?

Firstly, a cabin that is both luxurious and futuristic, featuring a massive video screen that stretches two-thirds of the way across the dash, bringing all manner of functions and features and controlled by a very stylish rotary clicker. Beautifully presented of course, in that meticulous Korean way.

There is not one but two dial-and-click rotary control knobs on the centre console: the familiar one above (as found in every Genesis model), and the other is a gear selector in the form of a crystal orb which glows in the dark. Upon entry to the car, it flips to reveal a lemon-squeezer shaped, polished alloy gear shifter, which falls easily to hand. Tricky, yes, but it also just works.

Very few pennies have been spared in bringing the GV60 up to the market benchmarks – Mercedes-Benz’s EQC, BMW ‘s iX3 and Audi’s handsome E-Tron.

It straddles that sometimes-uncomfortable gap between “true EV” models and those that have evolved, and there’s also the question of whether it’s a SUV (as Genesis calls it) or a premium hatch.

It’s a refined and lithe-looking thing with its shapely tail commanding the most attention: sort of Mazda3-meets-Porsche Macan.

Seats offer the softest, quilted leather, posh-feeling soft surfaces and some unusual, fetching brushed alloy highlights and charming, brass finishes on the air-conditioning vents. It’s beautifully cohesive and feels expensive.

The front seats are heated and ventilated, with a massage function keeping the driver from getting stiff.

The GV60 will take some beating for sheer weight of technology. It’s like the designers took a drive through an Apple store and filled up a shopping trolley with electronic toys.

That list includes a self-parking function – fast becoming the must-have toy for several brands these days.

The Bang & Olufsen audio brings 17 speakers, allows easy connection to digital or FM bands, and allows lots of customisation.

Likewise, the infotainment screen is beautifully presented and a breeze to use. It’s an area where the Koreans are very much in their comfort zone.

Then there’s the wing mirrors. More accurately, the two “prongs” outside the driver and passenger’s quarter-glass area which act as mounts for two rear-facing video cameras, each connected to an internal screen which replaces the traditional wing mirror.

It’s not unique – Audi has also decided that conventional mirrors were no longer clever (or attention-grabbing) enough for these thoroughly modern EV models.

It works, and gradually becomes less weird, but the jury is still out on whether it’s better than a mirror.

Dynamically the GV is more than capable with 234kW in the basic model, tested here. But the performance package takes things to a whole new level. Think 320KW and 605Nm that will cost $7000.

Oh, that model will actually manage a full 360kW and 700Nm thanks to a boost mode, which delivers the four-second 0-100km/h dash. 

The GV60 enjoys a cruising range of about 470km, which is good but not outstanding in a category where perception is everything. No doubt Genesis is working hard on stretching that out a bit.

After all, a Hyundai Ionic5 with more range, superior performance and equally impressive fit out, can be put in the garage for almost $30k less than the top-spec GV60.

The Genesis running gear is identical to that used by the Ioniq5 and EV6, using two motors to provide full-time all-wheel drive.

Thoughtfully, there’s the choice at purchase of opting for a five-year complimentary charge card on the ChargeFox network, or a home charger with basic installation. The latter is more convenient, the former gets cars back on the road more quickly.

If there is one question to be answered about the GV60 – that’s to ask “what is it?”. Is it an SUV, as the brand claims? Or a slightly taller hatchback (it has 20mm less ground clearance than a Kia Sportage, for instance)?

The pure electric design, with no transmission tunnel to factor in the equation, delivers oodles of space in the front and rear seats and, with its wheels situated at the extremities of each corner delivers a sturdy, roomy 2900mm wheelbase. As well as the cavernous cargo hatch it offers a neat little tub beneath the front bonnet.

It could easily be called a luxury, high-tech, high-performance, zero emissions, all-wheel drive hatchback. Or words to that effect.

* HOW BIG? It’s generously sized and delivers substantial interior space despite its sleek design.

* HOW FAST? In its ultimate form it’s quite a weapon – 360kW of power, 700Nm of torque and 0-100km/h in four seconds flat. There’s a more modestly-performed version, but for the saving of $7000, why not go all the way?

* HOW THIRSTY? Cruising range is roughly 470km. Genesis claims a time of 11 minutes to charge from 10-80 per cent capacity.

* HOW MUCH? By comparison with other EVs, it’s reasonably priced from $103,700 for the entry model, or $110,700 for the Performance version. Drive-away price is just over $120k.

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