Genesis, the luxury car brand from South Korea, recently launched three new fully electric vehicles in the Middle East: the GV60, Electrified GV70, and Electrified G80. I was invited to the regional launch and drive at a special event in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. I was impressed by not just the cars, but also the location. AlUla is a beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage Site with ancient ruins and stunning natural scenery that sometimes appears like a Martian landscape. Add to this brand new perfectly constructed roads and highways, and it was a perfect setting for this Genesis launch.
All three of the new Genesis vehicles are sure to compete with the best in the luxury car market, which is now getting seriously competitive. The established German brands are under threat since the Koreans are knocking out some high-quality good products, and now also in the world of electric cars.
The G80 is the luxury sedan that collected me from the airport and ferried me on the 90-minute journey to and from the Genesis event as a passenger in AC-chilled comfort (it was very hot in Al Ula!). Its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system produces 375 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-100 kph time of 4.5 seconds, and an estimated range of 424 km. Its luxurious cabin features premium materials and finishes and it comes with a long list of advanced safety and driver-assistance features.
I spent most of my time with the GV60 which I found the greatest fun to drive. Genesis describes the design of the GV60 as a coupe crossover utility vehicle (CUV), and it offers a range of up to 466 km on a single charge. It is powered by a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that produces 314 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque.
The GV60 can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds. The top-of-the-range version does 0 to 100 in a blistering 4 seconds! There’s also a ‘Boost’ button that, when pressed, enables up to ten seconds of extra acceleration – very useful when overtaking in tight conditions.
This is a stylish and sporty car with high-quality materials and finishes. It certainly has the ‘wow’ factor for those sitting inside viewing its futuristic design layout. I loved the crystal sphere handle that spins like a beautiful piece of futuristic artwork when the car is switched on. It also reveals to the driver when the electric engine is off – more useful than it may sound to those who have never driven an electric vehicle. For some EVs I have driven in the past, it can take a moment to figure out whether the car is switched on.
Further innovative features include Face Connect door locking, which allows users to open doors by registering their faces on a camera placed on the B-pillar, and a Fingerprint Authentication System that enables driving the car without a key.
Onto the electrified GV70, which I only spent a short amount of time driving, it’s a handsome machine, identical to the original combustion GV70 in design, and offers a bit more space than the smaller GV60. It’s a mid-size SUV that offers a range of up to 450 km on a single charge. It is powered by a single-motor rear-wheel-drive system that produces 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
The GV70 is a more traditional SUV than the GV60. It has a more conservative design, though the Electrified GV70 is the first Genesis model to feature the SUV-specific e-Terrain Mode, ensuring a stable driving experience in variable environments.
This trip was incredibly well organised and not only did I get to experience the 3 new EVs from the luxury Korean brand but learned so much more about Genesis as a brand and their vision. It was fascinating spending time and talking with the product team and brand leaders at various activities and dinners during the event.
I am now especially looking forward to taking the GV60 for a drive on the roads I know in Bahrain!
The GV60, GV70, and GV80 are available now in the Middle East. Prices start at $59,290 for the GV60, $68,290 for the GV70, and $70,850 for the GV80.
If you are interested in learning more about the new Genesis vehicles or would like to schedule a test drive, please contact the Genesis dealership in Bahrain – First Motors. Phone: +973 17 121 121