You have to hand it to them. And by them, I mean they. And by they, I mean Hyundai. The Genesis G70 surely isn’t a bad car, not even close to it. And, here’s the first of many rubs confronting the Genesis G70: they want it to be a thing in and of itself. It is The Genesis, not, most definitely not the Hyundai Genesis. Just: Genesis.
And all the press materials go to great lengths to refer to the car as just that. The mentions or uses of the word “Hyundai” tally up to two in over 2,000 words of verbiage. So what is it? What is the Genesis G70? In a nutshell, it’s pretty easy: Hyundai’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Hyundai, the South Korean mega-corp-conglomo-nopoly, does everything from construction projects to chemicals to electronics to shipbuilding to automobile manufacturing. Hyundai has been making good, solid, dependable yet affordable cars for decades now. In a lot of ways, they have out Toyota’d Toyota and the other Japanese marques whose stock in trade has long been good, solid, dependable yet affordable cars. But what if you want more than that? What if you, as an ambitious mega-corp-conglomo-nopoly, want more for your automobile division? Enter Genesis. Something well built, stylish, solid, safe, with an on-the-road and at-the-curb presence to make people notice. Enter Genesis.
Styling & Design
They describe the Genesis G70 as being “an athletic sedan characterized by its graceful and dynamic exterior styling” with an “elegant and intuitively designed interior.” This is all fair enough and, from a marketing perspective, the G70 completes the Genesis sedan lineup, slotting alongside the G90 flagship and the mid-luxury G80. No, I don’t know exactly what they mean by “mid-luxury” either.
The G70 offers a broad spectrum of color options, both inside and outside. There are ten exterior colors available, and they have come up with a new paint-finishing method: small, evenly distributed aluminum particles and high luminosity colors to maximize the exterior paint. Or, as Ed “Big Daddy” Roth calls it, “metalflake”. The inside has the same “big box of Crayolas” approach for available colors.
The G70 interior is prioritized around superb fit and finish with a focus on simplicity and an importance on real functionality. The overall layout is horizontal with a rather nice sport steering wheel. Since this is a Genesis, premium materials such as aluminum door handles, metal speaker grills, and quilted leather door panels are found throughout the cabin.
Power & Performance
The Genesis G70 aims to be agile yet safe, dynamic yet quiet, but it all starts from the powertrain. There are three powertrains on offer: a 3.3-liter V6 turbo, a 2.0-liter inline four-banger turbo, and a 2.2-liter inline four cylinder diesel. The engine to pay attention to here is the 3.3-liter V6 turbo – that’s the one found in the “enthusiast-focused” G70 Sport. That 3.3-liter V6 turbo plant cranks out 365 ponies and 376 lb-ft. of torque. All of this is good enough to get the G70 Sport to 60 in 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 168 mph. The G70 Sport also comes with variable-ratio steering and an electronically controlled suspension for better response and ride and handling.
You also get a number of other fancy-schmancy performance goodies, such as launch control, rack-mounted, motor-driven power steering (R-MDPS), multi-link rear suspension, dynamic torque vectoring, and a mechanical limited slip differential. They have also put in this contraption called Active Sound Design (ASD). This system “creates an aural character that reflects the engine load and driving mode settings.” That’s all they say about the ASD deal, but I cry witchcraft and sorcery, or, at the very least, fakery and I don’t hold with it. Nosir!
Technology & Safety
The cabin is also drowning in high tech gee-gaws, like a smart posture control system for minimal stress on long journeys. There’s an 8-inch touchscreen display with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The G70 also comes with server-based voice recognition technology, using Kakao’s artificial intelligence platform Kakao I. A 15-speaker Lexicon system is there when you really want to crank the K-Pop.
The G70 has a buffet of safety doohickeys like pedestrian impact mitigation technology that lifts the hood to absorb shock and minimize injury. There’s Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Highway Driving Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning, and J-Pop Avoidance Assist because we all know that Psy and Exo are totally hot and AKB48 and Arashi are totally not.
Will this work? Will the G70, along with the G80 and G90, be able to make Genesis into a brand of its own? That’s the obvious goal here, and I’m not saying they can’t do it. A lot of people in the car business have lost a lot of money saying that same thing about South Korean car companies. Perhaps Hyundai can defy the odds?
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias toward lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.