Having distinguished itself from the rest of the Hyundai Motor Group, Genesis has been furnishing desirable luxury vehicles that are a little easier on your pocketbook than what’s on offer from Germany. But it’s still inextricably linked to its corporate family, which recently introduced the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 to make sure everyone knows they’re not snubbing electrification. Not wanting to be left out, Genesis has revealed something riding on the E-GMP platform as well.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of hideous.
While the Ioniq 5 is an extremely handsome vehicle and the EV6 is more than passable for a mainstream electric, the upcoming Genesis GV60 looks as though someone at the company tried to execute the brand’s design language in the most chintzy way imaginable. We’ve been hearing other outlets describe it as “funky.” But that only works if they’re using the term in the same manner one might reference the smell of feet.
Hyundai’s designs have been very good lately — Jo Borras even wrote an article exploring why this week. I would argue that success extends to Genesis, which has managed to adopt thematic elements across its lineup that adhere to the fundamentals of good car design while also being fairly unique in the industry. But very little of this applies to the GV60.
Marketed as a crossover, the model is effectively an all-electric hatchback aping what it can from the GV70 minus the upscale swagger. For starters, Genesis opted to present the vehicle in yellow rather than the dark and neutral hues Genesis typically uses to show off its wares. Yellow is a fine color for a vehicle but it doesn’t exude class and seems at odds with the Genesis brand. The same goes for the plastic cladding found around the wheel arches and the creaseless, bubble molding that defines the vehicle’s exterior.
It just doesn’t look like a premium item that’s been painstakingly crafted with a sense of purpose. But the bad news ends with the exterior, as the GV60’s cabin is probably a cut above its E-GMP brethren. Whereas the Ioniq 5 offers a clean, minimalist cockpit and the EV6 takes a more future-chic approach (bottom of the page for comparison), GV60 is delivering a gentle middle ground with some upscale flair.
That’s not to suggest it’s better. The Genesis’ interior does lack some of the distinct personality offered by the electrics coming from Hyundai and Kia. But the resulting space bridges the gap between traditional and modern in a way that’s going to be more pleasing to some.
It’s just difficult to say whether or not that has resulted in a better automobile overall until it’s been driven, however. Genesis has kept a lid on the mechanical specifications. But it should be the same as the Ioniq 5 and EV6 with some unique packaging options. That means various motor and battery configurations with the bottom end being a single, rear-wheel unit cranking 167 horsepower. While the top-end GV60 could use the same dual-motor setup that has the EV6 pushing 576 hp, something about the Genesis’ design makes us think the company will prioritize efficiency as it waits to see how Kia’s performance EV fares.
It’s definitely not the South Korean electric at the top of my list. Though Hyundai Motor Group is probably wise to launch a bunch of compliance-friendly electrics with varied personalities. If one model fails to resonate with consumers and gives the Tesla Model Y serious competition, the company has two alternatives flanking it. There’s a good chance that there’s something you like about one of them, theoretically multiplying the chance of a sale by three.
Pricing is an absolute mystery at the moment but we would expect the GV60 to start somewhere above $45,000 when it arrives in the United States in 2022. Mechanical details should be provided between now and then.
[Images: Hyundai Motor Group]
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