Genesis, the upmarket arm of Hyundai, has already introduced five new models since it started operating in Europe a year ago. There was some surprise that all five were powered by petrol or diesel engines instead of electricity. But now, with their GV60, Genesis has introduced its first fully electric car.
It is based on the same underpinnings as Kia’s EV6 and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, which is a very good place to start, as they are amongst the best of the latest generation of EVs.
The GV60 maintains the usual Genesis styling cues – twin horizontal front and rear lights, crest grille, even though as an EV it doesn’t need it. Three versions are available – Premium, Sport and Sport Plus, but even with the entry-level 168kW (226bhp) Premium you won’t feel short-changed in terms of performance or equipment.
It can accelerate to 62mph in 7.8 seconds, as opposed to 5.5 secs for the Sport and a supercar-nudging 4 seconds for the Sport Plus, which has a boost button which provides an additional 20kW of power to each motor for 10 seconds, giving it a maximum output of 360kW, which feels like enough to tear your face off.
The cabin has a much classier feel than the Kia or Hyundai, with pale Alcantara on the door cards and pillars of my test car, and like the Hyundai, a glove box which slides out like a drawer.
On the road it feels well damped and very quiet, thanks to its Active Road Noise Cancellation system, part of a 17-speaker surround-sound system by Bang and Olufsen.
One nice bit of theatre in the cabin is the Crystal Sphere, a glass orb in the centre console which looks like it might be used to contact the dead, but revolves when you switch on the power and becomes the car’s gear selector. Not strictly necessary but a fun touch.
This is quite a tall, crossover-shaped car with short front and rear overhangs, giving it a chunky, purposeful look. Once on the move there is virtually no roll while cornering and the cabin exudes a more upmarket feel than its Kia and Hyundai siblings.
Safety systems vary from grade to grade, but include Lane Keep Assist, Highway Drive Assist Plus, Head-Up Display, Smart Cruise Control, High Beam Assist, Memory Seats and Rear Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist. There is also the usual Apple Car Play and Android Auto to play the music on your smart phone and i-Pedal and Smart Regen Braking for one-pedal driving.
Claimed range is 321 miles for the rear-wheel-drive Premium version, which costs £47,005, 292 miles for the all-wheel-drive dual motor Sport, at £53,605, or 289 miles for the range-topper Sport Plus at £65,405.
One of the GV60’s best tricks is its ultra-fast charging, which can take the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes, if you can get your hands on a 350kW charger. Otherwise, using a 50 kW/125A/400V unit takes 73 minutes. An 11Kw/16A/230V wall box takes seven hours 20 minutes and if all else fails, a domestic plug would take 34 hours and 20 minutes.
Like all Genesis models you get fixed pricing, a five-year care plan and home car delivery and collection.
Since Genesis first set up shop in South Korea and America in 2015 it has made great strides and made sure its business model was right before coming to Europe, which is regarded as a more demanding market for premium cars.
The GV60 is an important car for Genesis, being the first full EV from a company which intends to be fully electric by 2025. It is certainly a package which deserves to succeed.
Price: £47,005 to £65,405
0-62mph: 7.8 to 4 seconds
Top Speed: 115 to 146mph
Range: 289 to 321 miles