Genesis Electrified G80 review: an unconventional cruise missile
Genesis is on a roll of late. With an increasing percentage of its upcoming portfolio driven by electric powertrains, the quirky Korean luxury brand looks set to just keep expanding its presence in a luxury segment that’s too long been dominated by too few choices.
Now, Genesis has electrified one of its earliest hallmark models—the Electrified G80, an aptly named, battery-powered flavor of the G80 sedan that helped establish the Genesis brand as a true contender and not a mere curiosity. But does this emissions-free version stand on its own?
What does electrification mean for the G80? Well, some thorough reworking on the existing car’s platform, for one thing. Genesis managed to stuff 87.2 kWh worth of batteries in the car, much of it going beneath and behind the luxurious rear seats.
Compromises had to be made, unfortunately, and a sizable percentage of that pack protrudes up into the trunk. Cargo space is necessarily down, then, from 13.1 cubic feet in the regular G80 to 10.7 here. That’s a big decrease in the form of a large hump, but unless you’re hauling luggage for a month-long European vacation it shouldn’t be an issue.
Compromises had to be made, unfortunately, and a sizable percentage of that pack protrudes up into the trunk.
Under the hood, where once an either 2.5- or 3.5-liter engine sat, it’s all inverters and chargers plus all the requisite, bright-orange cabling to connect the lot. Genesis interestingly chose to cover all that with a plastic vanity shroud, giving everything a familiar, internal combustion look. Regardless, there’s no token storage to be found up here. Sorry frunk lovers.
So what is powering the car, then? Two 136-kilowatt electric motors, providing the equivalent of 182 horsepower each. With one motor per axle, all-wheel-drive is standard. Genesis rates the Electrified G80 at 365 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That’s comparable power and about 25 percent more torque than the quickest of the non-electrified G80s, and you’ll feel it as soon as you dip into the accelerator.
Well, assuming you’re not in Eco mode, anyway, which flattens the throttle curve dramatically in pursuit of maximum range. Go for Comfort mode and the G80 surges forward with every dab at the throttle. In Sport, it’s positively raring to go, charging out of tight corners harder than its 245/45 RE19 Michelin Primacy Tour A/S tires can grip.
This is no sports car, but it accelerates like one in that delightful EV way. Torque and throttle response are best at low speed, exactly where you want them to zip away from lights or around slower traffic on a two-lane road. It’s only at higher speeds, on the highway, where acceleration feels less immediate. Still, there’s plenty of power for highway overtakes and all the high-speed motoring you could ever want.
The normal, non-electrified G80’s suspension is soft to begin with, but the extra 500 pounds of mass on the Electrified means handling is necessarily compromised. The car wallows through corners and is easily upset on large bumps, the rear end in particular taking a long while to settle. Rougher surfaces send an unfortunate amount of road noise through the suspension, but on the highway, when cruising, the G80 is a delight.
And that’s really how you should be driving this car. Pushing hard just compromises range, which is EPA-rated at 282 miles. In my testing, much of which was spent at highway speed, I averaged consumption of 3.4 mi/kWh. Multiply that by the 87.2-kWh battery pack and you have a theoretical range of 296 miles. That’s inline with the 290-odd miles of estimated range the car would show me on a dash after a full charge.
On the highway, when cruising, the G80 is a delight.
All the more reason, then, to set the cruise control (which also helps maximize EV range) and let the Highway Driving Assist do its thing. HDA does a fine job of keeping the G80 centered in the lane at an appropriate distance from traffic ahead. This is the earlier flavor of HDA, not capable of handling automated lane changes or the like, but it’s still quite good at looking ahead and smoothly maintaining speed even in tight traffic. It does, however, leave a generous gap between the car ahead, which may mean getting cut off a bit more than you might like.
In my time stuck in traffic I wasn’t terribly bothered by that, especially when the car’s Ergo Motion seats kicked in. This isn’t a full-featured massage as such, but drive long enough and the G80 will decide it’s time for you to get a bit of adjustment. The car will inflate and deflate the lumbar support to the maximum while also raising and lowering the seat cushion below. It’s nothing compared to the invigorating massages you can get in something like a Mercedes-Benz EQS, but then this car costs $20,000 less.
Rear seats are rather more basic, unadjustable but comfortable, with separate HVAC controls and sun shades on the sides and the back glass. Rear-seat headroom is a little limited, but tolerable, a necessary compromise to facilitate that sloping roofline.
When talking about the exterior design, it’s not hard to know where to start. That massive, chromed crosshatch of the G80’s schnoz is utterly impossible to miss from clear across the biggest of parking lots. It makes one hell of a statement and frankly I think it’s a good one – a strong one at least.