The Genesis GV60
In its March issue, Motor Trend’s Angus MacKenzie begins his discussion of today’s EV segment with a look back at the GM Firebird III, a futuristic take on the F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet influenced (presumably) by GM design chief Harley Earl’s early experimentation with LSD. Introduced to the global stage in 1958, MacKenzie reminds us that the Firebird III’s futurism came only 50 years after Ford’s introduction of the Model T. From there, MacKenzie argues that today’s Tesla is not unlike Henry’s first home run. And while, over a century later I don’t see anything the least bit agrarian in a Tesla – not even in the upcoming Cybertruck – I can liken the Genesis GV60 to Edsel Ford’s Model A. In its 1928 debut the Ford Motor Company clothed completely conventional mechanicals in an oh-so-distinctive shape, and almost a century later Hyundai’s Genesis has done essentially the same, albeit on its dedicated EV platform.
My first closeup of the GV60 was last summer at a ride-and-drive organized by the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA). In that it was the first media get-together by WAPA in some time, the turnout by both media and OEMs was perhaps less than optimal, and the schedule slightly disjointed. But there was a collection of compelling cars and trucks of interest, and the GV60 was one of the most interesting.
With its GV prefix, you’ll know Genesis intends for the GV60 to occupy the SUV branch of its automotive family tree. And while not wanting to appear argumentative, if the GV60 or its corporate siblings, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6, are SUVs, then I’m Rudy Giuliani. The GV60 sits on 20-inch rims with a 45 aspect-ratio rubber, which might work in Boulder, CO – but won’t work in and around actual, you know…boulders. And the GV60’s six inches of ground clearance is no greater than your typical minivan, making it perfect for an Interstate-based odyssey because, in at least one aspect (ground clearance) it is an Odyssey. Let’s call it a 5-door hatch, and work to eliminate the stigma associated with that descriptive.
With that behind us, I’ll admit to being intrigued by the GV60’s shape. On its 114-inch wheelbase, the GV60’s largely organic sheetmetal stretches over almost 15 feet, and boasts an overall height of 62.6 inches. Given that it’s an EV there’s no need for the big-*ss grille that serves as a signature for the more conventional Genesis lineup; instead, the front end is essentially a closed mouth, although this rendering is – to me – more attractive than the solution chosen by Tesla when eliminating any pretense of its grille. In profile the GV60 is more Tesla Model Y than GV70, while the rear end concludes with a fastback hatch, not unlike ‘coupe’ variants of more traditional crossovers.
Inside, the Genesis design team worked overtime to infuse the GV60 interior with abundant tech, punctuated with copious volumes of both ‘surprise’ and ‘delight’; it’s not unlike seeing an Erin Andrews spot on Fox, whereas most interior treatments are Howie Long – ‘long’ on functionality while falling short on style. Behind the wheel you’ll enjoy a 12.3-inch screen for NAV and infotainment, along with a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster. There’s also a head-up display, Bang & Olufsen audio (in our test car’s Performance edition) and – as you’d assume – both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And we won’t forget the GV60’s Crystal Sphere shifter, a gee whiz styling feature that’ll have you saying ‘GEE WHIZ’!
Beyond the tech menu is the way it’s organized in front of you. Both in its visual layout and attention to detail, the GV60 is the fashionista, designed by adults rather than its still-adolescent competitors. Unlike Tesla, you won’t need to deal with a dash-mounted screen which looks to have been acquired from Best Buy, while its plastic and leather surfaces have a feel suggesting the longevity of a purchase rather than the disposability of a lease.
At launch the GV60 arrives in two variants, both with all-wheel drive. The ‘Advanced’ offers 314 horsepower while our test ‘Performance’ delivers 429 horsepower. Obviously, that makes the Performance trim decidedly quick, delivering 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Down the road is reportedly a single motor version, and you gotta’ think Genesis will also bump the GV60’s stated range, now sitting at between 235 and 248 miles.
There’s a lot to like here, but regrettably, few places to buy it. At this writing the GV60 can be purchased in only seven states – Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington. A visit to a dealer near DC confirmed its service department’s ability to work on the GV60, but that dealer doesn’t sell it – and didn’t know when it would. At a retail figure of between $60K and $70K the GV60 represents decent value, but apparently won’t benefit from the government’s revised tax incentives.
In sum, it’s an easy EV to like, but then, so are Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, the upcoming Ioniq 6 and Kia’s EV6. As I’ve written before, it’s your money…spend it wisely.