Genesis is now a 3 sedan luxury brand in a world voracious for SUVs. The long awaited 2019 Genesis G70, an entry level sport sedan sharing its platform and powertrains with arguably more compelling 2018 Kia Stinger, debuted overnight in Seoul at a “festival” attended by 15’000 people and headlined by Gwen Stefani. Without careening off into an opinion editorial about perils of Hyundai’s rushed launch of its luxury brand, consider new Genesis G70 to be Giulia to eventual Genesis GV70 SUV’s Stelvio. If you are unfamiliar with Alfa Romeo models, let us put it this way the G70 is appetizer served in advance of meal you really want to eat. Still, based on photos and specifications, G70 looks tasty, especially in G70 Sport format.
Balanced, attractive, and tautly penned
Luc Donckerwolke is Head of Genesis Design, a role he took after directing design at Bentley and Lamborghini. Of new G70, he told “At Genesis, we shape fascination and desire.” Whether you find G70 fascinating or desirable is up to you, but you are looking at what company tells represents future direction of Genesis styling. Like existing G80 and G90 models, new G70 features a long hood, a short front overhang and a look that too closely resembles less expensive Hyundai models. Even “hockey stick” daylight opening is familiar, similar to what’s seen on the Elantra as well as Acura TLX. Around back, G70 is inoffensively bland, though Sport trim is equipped with a tastefully rendered mesh diffuser panel between sexy oval exhaust outlets. Large, thin spoke aluminum wheels look terrific and trendy fender vents are visually aligned with trim defining the large front air intakes. The end result is taut, balanced and athletic. Ultimately, for Genesis to sell G70, people need to love the design. Liking it well enough is not going to distinguish it from pack.
Premium interior reflects money spent where it counts
Inside, Genesis makes a more convincing argument for G70 and Donkerwolke’s tenure at Bentley is on full display in detailing. Metal finishes, gloss black trim, piano key controls and dramatically stitched and piped Nappa leather seats present a truly lush cabin appearance. Driver focused, G70’s interior aims to deliver top-quality fit and finish, simplicity and functionality. Seating positions are specifically chosen to reduce car’s center of gravity and a sport steering wheel is standard. An Active Sound Design system adjusts audible engine and exhaust note depending on selected driving mode and how the car is driven. Interior colors include black, gray, beige, brown and burgundy. The G70 2,0T with Sports Package and G70 Sport and can be decked out in unique Sports Gray and Sports Red colors.
Genesis flexes its technological muscles
Technologically speaking, G70 ought to provide infotainment, driver assistance and collision avoidance systems expected in segment. Genesis announced few concrete details about infotainment system, other than it comes with an 8 inch display screen, can be paired with a 15 speaker Lexicon premium sound system and supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link smartphone projection systems. Graphics are familiar to anyone who’s been in a Hyundai or a Kia lately, which can also be told for driver information system and many control markings. It sure seems like Genesis is missing an opportunity to differentiate itself on this front but at least switchgear finishes appear to be a cut above even that of larger G80. Something you won’t find in G70’s competition is Smart Posture Control System. Genesis debuted this in flagship G90 and by inputting driver’s body characteristics car automatically adjusts the seat, steering wheel, mirrors and head-up display to provide an optimal position for minimization of stress and maximization of comfort. Nine air bags protect G70’s occupants, while an active hood design intends to reduce potential injury should car hit a pedestrian. To prevent this from occurring in first place, G70’s forward collision warning system is programmed with pedestrian and cyclist detection and automatic emergency braking activates if driver fails to take action. Additional safety-related features include blind spot monitoring, driver awareness monitoring and Highway Driving Assist, an undefined system that likely includes a semi autonomous element.
Turbocharged engines, available all wheel drive
Standard for Genesis G70 models, a turbocharged 2,0 liter 4 cylinder engine makes about 250 hp, with optional Sports Package endowing the car with a little extra oomph. G70 Sport is equipped with a turbocharged 3,3 liter V6 engine. Installed in the larger G80 Sport, this engine develops 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, latter on tap from a low 1’300 rpm all the way to 4’500 rpm. Thanks in part to a launch control system, Genesis tells G70 Sport will accelerate to 60 mph in just over 4,5 seconds. It includes a mechanical limited slip differential, variable ratio steering and an adaptive damping suspension. Dynamic torque vectoring all wheel drive is also on menu. Genesis also plans to offer a 2,2 liter diesel 4 cylinder engine in some markets, though not likely US It will make about 200 hp and churn more torque than turbocharged 4 cylinder but not as much as twin turbo 6.
Unrivaled ownership benefits
Both midsize Genesis G80 and full size Genesis G90 are unexpectedly satisfying to drive, which bodes well for new G70, but it likely won’t be the dynamics that sell this car, or interior materials, or technology, or styling. Value for money, attribute that has defined Hyundai products since company first brought Excel to America in the 80′, is what ought to ensure that the G70 sells in greater numbers than its larger siblings. Seemingly custom tailored for people who lease new luxury cars every 3 years, Genesis provides G70 owners with 36 months of complimentary service. You do not even need to take the car in yourself. Genesis will come and get it from you as a part of its Service Valet ownership benefit. Beyond this, G70 owners will enjoy 3 years of satellite radio, infotainment and navigation system updates and Genesis Connected Services. An enhanced roadside assistance program will even reimburse you for overnight expenses if, for whatever reason, G70 leaves you stranded, which is highly unlikely. Genesis understands that time is money and that simplicity is a hallmark of luxury. This, more than anything else, is one of the best reasons to consider G70, which is expected to arrive in American showrooms in second quarter of 2018.