Before letting you in, the Genesis GV60 looks you deep in the eye. Don’t get too excited, his look is not romantic. A small camera on the B-pillar makes you throw up once and then unlocks the doors. Once you’re inside, you get to know yourself more, as to start it you touch a fingerprint recognition button on the center console. The car is electric though, so you don’t really get into anything.
The GV60 is Genesis’ first EV. Without an engine coming to life, the telltale sign that you’ve turned the GV60 on is the glassy orb in the center console spinning to reveal a shifter. It’s a new design and we expect it to quickly spread to the rest of the Genesis range. Like the other Genesis models, the interior has a sleek and uncluttered appearance. A glass panel as wide as the Mississippi houses two 12.3-inch displays: gauges directly in front of the driver and a central touchscreen. Unfortunately, phone mirroring (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) requires a cable, even as wireless systems become the norm – one of the few missteps in the GV60.
Built on the E-GMP architecture, a dedicated EV platform shared with the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, the GV60 has a crossover shape as well as being sleek and attractive. A clamshell hood hides a small storage area in the front, and behind the second row there is 24 cubic meters of space, enough for a full amount of luggage. The distinctive split headlight design makes an appearance, as does the winged badge, although it’s slimmer and less in-your-face than on other models. Two versions will be available at launch: the Advanced AWD model has two electric motors totaling 314 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque, while the four-wheel-drive Performance trim delivers 429 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque. with a short “overboost” of 483 horses and 516 lb-ft available for 10 seconds of craziness.
We drove the more powerful Performance version and can report that from a stop with the overboost activated, the front motor briefly overpowers the front tires, despite also powering the rear tires. Judging by the pressure on our spines under full swat, we expect the GV60 to shoot 3 to 60 mph in 483 horsepower mode in the mid-1900s.
Tackle a few turns and the GV60 corners safely and has a liveliness that comes from its quick steering. An electronic rear differential lock ensures power flows to both sides of the road, and front-to-rear torque distribution provides rear-wheel drive. The harder you push, the more aware you become of the estimated curb weight of 4900 pounds as the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S tires begin to audibly protest. A rain system capable of driving with one pedal ensures that the brakes don’t feel a lot of stress. Body control is good. The handling is Porsche Macan-esque, except the Genesis doesn’t fumble with downshifts and upshifts – it just goes.
A camera-based system that reads the road surface keeps the adaptive dampers smooth over bumps. Quiet and refined, the GV60 is a convincing luxury vehicle when driven gently. Turn off the ridiculous and headache-inducing jetsons sound effects that whiz and buzz in response to the accelerator, and there’s almost silence thanks to the absence of road and wind noise. Perhaps some credit is due to the active noise-cancelling system with eight microphones played through the audio system’s 17 speakers. Whether it’s the noise cancellation or the noise canceling or the aero package, the GV60 is a quiet machine.
A 77.4 kWh battery provides 248 miles (Advanced) or 235 miles (Performance) EPA range. A Level 2 charger will replenish the battery from 10 to 100 percent in about seven hours. Plug in an 800-volt DC fast charger and the battery can go from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes. The Advanced model starts at $59,980, which is about $11,000 more than the same powertrain in the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but less than $4,000 more than the top-end limited-equipment Ioniq 5, while the Performance variant starts at $68,980. We will soon have a GV60 for instrument testing, but after our first time behind the wheel we can say that it looks like it at first glance.
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