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Genesis proves electric cars can still be fun

By Maxine Ashford | June 2, 2023

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We put Genesis electric cars to the test to prove they can still be great fun

Anyone who thinks that electric vehicles may come up short when matched against standard combustion engine cars needs to have a rethink.

And to prove the point, Genesis – the premium arm of the Hyundai Group – invited us to a proving ground just outside Berlin to put some of their EVs to the test.

It seems hard to believe that the Korean carmaker is celebrating its second anniversary since launching in the UK and Europe and during that time it has launched eight models, three of which are all electric.

In a bid to prove just how capable the Genesis EV line-up is, we towed a horsebox weighing 1,200kg behind the GV70. That might not sound that impressive, but we weren’t just towing we were testing the acceleration, braking and control in somewhat unusual conditions.

After all this was a proving ground, so nothing was quite as it seemed. With water being sprayed onto part of the surface it meant half the area was like driving in the wet while the other section was similar to ice.

Taking that into consideration, under the guidance of instructors, we floored the accelerator in the GV70 while all four wheels were on the ice track. It took off like a rocket without the slightest loss of grip, but perhaps more impressively, it came to a complete stop when the brake pedal was stamped on.

With two wheels on the water surface and two on the slippery ice, we activated the Boost button and once again the GV70 responded instantly and with sharp braking there was no sign of any trailer sway. Maybe this is the right time to stress that there was no horse in the horsebox!

Next up was the GV70 in more dynamic settings without any trailer involving a slalom course. Using just the steering wheel-mounted pedals to control the regenerative braking and slow the car down, we were able to steer through the cones without touching the brakes at all. 

Then we accelerated and braked with such force the ABS was activated. Once again, the car delivered on all counts and even when emergency braking from speeds of up to 70kmh, the steering control with the aid of the ABS really impressed.

Finally, it was the turn of the very latest GV60 car. With its sportier characteristics, it was the ideal model to go drifting in. Of course it was.

So, we set off round a small circular track that was icier the closer you got to the centre. With the traction control turned off and lots of sudden acceleration the car somehow maintained its course. Well at least most of the time. There were a few occasions where the understeer took hold and the car began to spin, but it soon righted itself and was ready for more fun-packed action.

While this was a few hours of fun in demanding conditions, there was a more serious side to the activities. And that’s to highlight just how capable this Genesis line-up really is.

In addition, Genesis is pioneering lots of new features and is the first company to apply biometric technology to allow access to and start up the vehicle. It is called Face Connect and, once set up which takes just a few seconds, uses a camera in the B pillar to scan the driver’s face and unlock the vehicle when recognised.

There is also a fingerprint sensor located on the centre console that reads the driver’s fingerprint. This will save a considerable amount of time, especially if the car is shared as it will recall the driver’s favourite settings such as seat and steering wheel position, Head Up Display height, massaging seat functions and lots more besides.

Finally, a Digital Key set-up allows owners to use their smartphone as the key for the car. It can lock, unlock, operate the tailgate, start the engine and lots more besides.

These two systems and the Digital Key are standard across the latest 2023 GV60 line-up.

There are exciting times ahead for Genesis too with clear goals for the future. By 2025, the line-up will be fully electrified. By 2030, Genesis will be a zero emissions brand and by 2035 the company globally will be carbon neutral – making it one of the first to achieve that target.

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