You know, Hyundai – okay, okay Genesis, sorry – might really be onto something here. Hyundais are, generally speaking, well made, fantastically practical cars that are ultimately disposable. Genesis, the spinoff brand from the Korean auto-giant, is just like that, only luxury-oriented and feature rich. Could there be a market out there for rich people who would not only drive a Genesis, but drive a new one every year?
That used to be the way it was done, actually. I’ve personally known several old duffers who used to, every year, drive their car back to Detroit, straight to the factory, and trade it in right there, for the next such-and-such coming off the line. Now, people who are leaning that way just get a new such-and-such on lease every 12 or 24 months. Could Genesis be one of those cars? It is pretty loaded down with all that feature-frosting rich dorks demand.
Genesis officially introduced the 2019 G70 luxury performance sedan to the U.S. market at this year’s New York International Auto Show, and yeah, there’s a lot there. The G70 rounds out the Genesis sedan lineup, joining the G80, G80 Sport, and flagship G90 with all that codswallop about the brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design signature blah-blah-blah. Marketing speak, you know?
Still, the interior of the G70 is driver-focused and saturated with enough high-quality materials to choke a horse. Brushed aluminum surfaces, quilted Nappa leather seats, stainless steel speaker grilles, and premium-stitched soft-touch surfaces are all over the place. A 15-speaker Lexicon high-fidelity audio system with QuantumLogic surround-processing allows you to listen to, oh, I dunno, Slayer, in some sort of strange, false echo DSP-chip “environment.”
Power & Performance
You want power? The U.S. market G70 will have “enough.” There’s a choice of two engines: a 252 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four, and a 365 horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Obviously get the big mill! Rear-wheel drive is standard (baby!) and all-wheel drive is optional. The standard box is an eight-speed, sport-tuned automatic with steering wheel mounted shifters and launch control regardless of engine.
And this is actually impressive: Genesis will offer an optional six-speed manual gearbox on the 2.0 real-wheel drive model. Huzzah! Huzzah! Someone is listening to the luddite gearheads out there! Huzzah!
Ride & Handling
All G70s ride on a pretty standard MacPherson multi-link front and multi-link rear suspension. Sure there’s performance-oriented geometry dialed in, and sure, it probably corners okay, but until Genesis/Hyundai start hiring away chassis guys from Red Bull, don’t expect this thing to be a real track star. They have paid attention to overall lightness however, St. Colin of Hethel be praised.
There’s an aluminum hood and a mechanical limited slip diff for improved traction. Variable ratio steering is on the G70 3.3 turbo, and 3.3 turbo Sport models add an electronically-controlled suspension.
The G70 is customizable to each driver’s preference with five available modes. You can tweak powertrain response, steering weight, engine sound, torque distribution, (all-wheel drive models), and suspension firmness. Brembo brakes are optional with fixed four-piston calipers up front, and two-pistons at the rear so you can stop real good. 19-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires are an option as well.
Safety & Technology
Digital servants? Of course, this is a car designed and built by Koreans in 2019. There’s oodles of standard safety equipment: Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Warning make up the Genesis Active Safety Control suite.
Like all Genesis models, the G70 comes with advanced telematics, seamless connectivity, and nifty in-house tech goodies like Destination Search powered by Voice, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and SOS Emergency & Automatic Collision Notification.
On top of all that, the G70 is an Amazon Alexa-enabled device with voice control.
Availability & In Person
The Genesis G70 arrives at dealers this summer and will come in eight exterior colors: Victoria Black, Casablanca White, Himalayan Grey, Santiago Silver, Adriatic Blue, Mallorca Blue, Havana Red, and Siberian Ice. In the meantime, it’s on display at the New York International Auto Show, now through April 8th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. A chapter from his forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me appears every Friday on Automoblog. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.