“Electric luxury starts now” – at least according to Korean marque Genesis.
September will see Hyundai’s luxury arm launch no less than three electric vehicles in Australia – the GV60 dedicated EV, as well as the Electrified GV70 and the subject of this review, the Genesis Electrified G80.
Like the Electrified GV70, the Electrified G80 is an EV based on a modified combustion engine platform. It takes the distinctive BMW 5 Series– and Mercedes-Benz E-Class-rivalling G80 and shoehorns an electric drivetrain underneath.
Priced from a lofty $145,000 plus on-road costs, the Electrified G80 is a whole $30,000 dearer than a decked-out G80 3.5T AWD with its thumping twin-turbo V6, but still has little in the way of direct competition.
The Tesla Model S, a stalwart in the EV space, is not currently available to order in Australia, while the Mercedes-Benz EQE isn’t launching until later this year, and at least initially will only be available in AMG 53 spec in Australia – likely priced around the $200,000 mark.
Conceptually the Electrified G80’s closest competitor is the new BMW i7 xDrive60, being a big, luxury-leaning electric limousine, though the i7 is a size segment above and is twice the price – at $297,900 plus on-roads.
Does this EV saloon serve as a worthy halo for Korea’s flagship car brand?
The Electrified G80 is available as a single, fully-optioned model variant in Australia, priced from $145,000 before on-road costs.
Using a Melbourne postcode, Genesis’s online configurator shows a drive-away price of just over $156,000 drive-away.
As noted above, that makes the G80 EV some $30,000 more expensive than the most expensive combustion-powered Genesis G80 with equivalent spec, which is a big wad of cash in anyone’s books. Whether it’s justified will be up to you.
It’s also the most expensive model Genesis sells in Australia, sitting well above the likes of the Electrified GV70 SUV ($127,800) and the GV80 3.5T AWD ($109,700).
While direct rivals are few, the following list of electrified sedans could be logically cross-shopped:
All prices exclude on-road costs
If you’ve ever spent time in the regular G80 or even a GV80, the cabin of the Electrified model will feel familiar.
The design and layout is pretty much all identical to the combustion-engined version, though there’s some Electrified-exclusive appointments including select trims, upholsteries and displays.
My first impression was just how nicely appointed the cabin is.
There’s swathes of quilted Nappa leather on the seats, leather-lined surfaces on the doors, dashboard and centre console, full electric adjustment for the front seats and steering wheel, high-resolution displays for the instrument cluster and the infotainment system, and interesting Forged Wood inlays.
It all feels beautifully built, in typical high-end Korean fashion. If you’re wondering whether the cabin presentation and tactility stacks up against the Germans and Lexus, it’s certainly no poor relation.
Up front the driver and passenger are treated to comfortable seats with a wide range of electric adjustment, and the steering wheel also electrically adjusts for reach and rake.
There’s heating and ventilation for the front pews, as well as memory presets and massaging for the driver.
It’s a shame the passenger misses out on the driver’s extra adjustment and massage program, something common to much of the Genesis line-up. I also noticed the driving position feels a little high, likely due to a raised floor thanks to the added battery and EV components in the floorpan.
Ahead of the driver is a 12.0-inch colour head-up display with various bits of information within the driver’s line of sight, and the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with 3D function carries over from the combustion-powered G80 but now features EV-specific content like a power meter and range readouts.
The 14.5-inch widescreen infotainment display is familiar from the standard G80 as well as the GV70 and GV80.
Genesis has applied a unique skin and a modified user interface over the base Hyundai Group system, which means it’s pretty easy to use and offers sharp graphics and snappy load times, but it lacks some of the connectivity functions that you’ll find in some rivals.
Satellite navigation with EV charging destinations is standard, and there’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, albeit via wired connection. The latter continues to be a pain point with Hyundai and Kia, which are unable to offer wireless smartphone mirroring in infotainment units featuring embedded navigation.
Another gripe is the lack of connected services like you’ll find in Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz products, as well as a select number of new Hyundai/Kia models. It means you don’t get app-based remote functions, online navigation and traffic updates which are more real-time.
It does get augmented reality (AR) navigation, however, something usually an option on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. When using turn-by-turn navigation on the native system, it shows a live forward-facing camera feed overlayed with graphics and labels to better show you where to go – it’s a bit gimmicky, but it’s a fun party trick.
The second row is arguably just important as the front for a vehicle like this, given the kind of customer this vehicle is pitched at – some will want to be driven as well as drive themselves, and the G80 has long been a hire fleet favourite.
Having the Luxury Package as standard means there’s a bit going on back here. You get dual touchscreens behind each front seat, and a fold-down rear centre console with controls for climate, infotainment and convenience features like seat heating and rear sunshade. It’s even got a matching infotainment dial like the one up front.
While it’s kitted out like business class, passenger space isn’t quite as capacious as the exterior dimensions might suggest. At 6’1 I fit comfortably in the rear behind my own driving position, but it didn’t feel like I could really stretch out like you can in some longer wheelbase vehicles – like the old Holden Caprice or something like a Lexus LS.
If there’s no one in the front passenger seat, there’s a walk-through control (like in various Hyundai/Kia vehicles) that allows the rear passenger-side occupant to electrically adjust the front seat to open up more space.
The pair of 9.2-inch 720p HD rear displays are like miniature versions of the front-row infotainment unit, giving rear passengers the ability to play with media, navigation and the like.
You can adjust the tilt angle to account for the seat back angle, and respond to touch inputs.
Hyundai’s quirky Sounds of Nature ambient audio program is also accessible from the rear displays, and you can connect media devices via USB, and headphones via the 3.5mm auxiliary jacks.
Considering these sort of displays can cost thousands of dollars on European rivals, it’s pretty neat that Genesis includes them as standard, even if they don’t provide essential functions.
Despite its 5005mm length and 1925mm width, the Electrified G80’s boot area is hardly larger than a small hatchback due to the added EV components under the skin.
Boot capacity is quoted at 354L (VDA), which is less than something like a Hyundai i30 or Volkswagen Golf, for reference.
Compared to the regular G80 the Electrified version loses some 70 litres of capacity, and there’s a large hump at the rearmost part of the luggage area which will impede larger, square bits of luggage.
There’s netting on either side to hold loose items, LED lighting, anchor points with a larger cargo net, as well as a ski port pass-through for longer items.
The Electrified G80 is powered by a pair of 136kW/350Nm permanent magnet synchronous electric motors – one on each axle. System outputs are a quoted 272kW and 700Nm.
Feeding the electric motors is a big 87.2kWh lithium-ion battery which offers the same 800V architecture and “up to 350kW” charging capacity as the Hyundai Group’s E-GMP electric vehicles. Driving range is a claimed 520 kilometres based on the WLTP test cycle, equivalent to a combined power consumption rate of 19.1kWh/100km.
The Electrified G80 employs e-AWD with a disconnector actuator system, which switches between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive for better energy efficiency and reduces drag loss.
Genesis has made numerous modifications to the G80’s construction in the EV, reducing the body component count from 551 to 482, and structural rigidity has been increased by 17 per cent over combustion-powered versions.
Genesis claims the 5.0-metre-long Electrified G80 can dash from zero to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, which is 0.2s quicker than the twin-turbo V6-powered G80 3.5T AWD. Additionally, the company claims the Electrified G80’s rolling acceleration from 80-120km/h takes just 3.2 seconds.
As noted earlier, the Korean brand quotes a charging capacity of 350kW, which allows the Electrified G80 to recharge from 10 to 80 per cent in as little as 22 minutes.
It’s well documented Hyundai Group EVs rarely hit the quoted 350kW peak in the real-world, rather sitting around the 230kW mark, though Genesis says it’s down to temperature management to avoid the battery overheating. Regardless, the company maintains the “up to 350kW” claim is accurate and is achievable.
Our launch drive of the Electrified G80 included a 25-kilometre stint on the winding B-roads surrounding Yarra Glen in Victoria’s outer east, as well as a longer drive from Yarra Glen to the Melbourne CBD.
Exiting the Zonzo Estate winery onto a 100km/h road gave me the opportunity to almost do a standing start, and even with more relaxed outputs compared to the Electrified GV70 the G80 EV pins you back in your seat.
What’s more, it does so nearly completely silently which can feel a bit odd the first couple of times you do it – both in terms of powertrain noise as well as ambient wind and road noise.
On the winding, undulating country roads around Yarra Glen, the Electrified G80 felt surprisingly sporty despite its stately aesthetic and leather-lined cabin. It turns in quickly and offers plenty of grip, the latter courtesy of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 performance tyres and the added traction of AWD.
Genesis has employed new front and rear suspension members for the EV, and the Electrified G80 also gets the brand’s Preview-Electronic Control Suspension with predictive adaptive dampers.
It’s not quite the wafty, Rolls-Royce kind of ride you might expect from a vehicle that looks like this, but it’s actually quite an enjoyable thing to drive as it retains the regular G80’s keen dynamics and adds the instant thrust of electric power – 700Nm is getting into Audi RS, BMW M and Mercedes-AMG territory.
There’s a real hunkered-down, confident feel on the road, and the low-slung, long and skinny body makes it feel really streamlined and aerodynamic – Genesis quotes a slippery drag coefficient of 0.26.
Following our shorter dynamic drive, we set off from Yarra Glen back to Melbourne’s CBD, having travelled out there in the smaller GV60 crossover. This route took us through similarly windy B-roads, onto a regional highway and then onto Melbourne’s M3 Eastern Freeway, finishing up with some tight inner-city roads.
The breadth of environments really showcased the Electrified G80’s all-round abilities. Private buyers can happily take this out to a country winery or holiday home in comfort and serenity, and limo drivers can keep themselves and their passengers happy with such a comfortable, refined transporter.
Despite the raised driving position, which wasn’t really to my taste, the Genesis ate up the trip with little fuss. In slower, high-traffic driving it’s very relaxed and insulated from the outside world, and on the freeway it settles into an effortless cruise and has all the requisite assistance systems to take the load off extended stints behind the wheel.
Genesis’s adaptive cruise control and Lane Following Assist combine for a near-autonomous highway driving experience, though we still don’t get the Hyundai Group’s all-encompassing Highway Assist function in Australia yet.
The Blind Spot View Monitor and regular blind-spot assist proved helpful on the freeway and in the city given the G80’s elongated dimensions, and the augmented reality navigation was fun to play with on our route.
It was bloody efficient too, that circa-60km drive from Yarra Glen to Melbourne’s CBD yielded an indicated energy consumption of just over 15kWh/100km with mostly highway and freeway driving. That’s nearly Tesla Model 3 efficiency, and well under Genesis’s 19.1kWh/100km official claim.
Perhaps what also appealed to me most, beyond the effortless performance and lovely refinement, was the fact the G80 feels entirely conventional.
Compared to the GV60, with its array of displays, digital mirrors and odd proportions, the Electrified G80 looks and feels like a regular luxury sedan to drive. You can basically get in and go with little to no adjustment required.
While I understand the benefits of a dedicated EV platform, I imagine there’s even broader appeal in having vehicles that employ new-age powertrains but looks and feel like normal cars.
Electrified G80 highlights:
- Metallic/Mica paint
- 19-inch alloy wheels (EV specific)
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres
- Quad Lamp Matrix LED headlights
- Intelligent high-beam
- LED tail lights
- Reverse guide lights
- Aero wipers
- Solar control glass
- Solar roof
- Acoustic windscreen
- Acoustic front, rear door glass
- Active Noise Control
- Auto folding, heated, dimming side mirrors
- Soft-close doors
- Genesis logo puddle lights
- 12.0-inch head-up display
- 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster
- 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation with augmented reality (AR)
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wired)
- Genesis Integrated Controller
- Incl. handwriting recognition
- AM/FM/DAB+ radio
- 20-speaker Lexicon audio system
- Wireless smartphone charger
- Rear Seat Entertainment system
- Dual 9.2-inch touchscreens
- Rear armrest console controls
- Bio-processed quilted Nappa leather-appointed upholstery
- Leather-appointed dashboard, door trim, centre console
- Leather-appointed driver’s airbag cover
- 18-way power driver’s seat incl. memory
- Ergo Motion driver massage function
- 12-way power passenger’s seat
- Electrochromatic rear-view mirror
- Tri-zone climate control
- 6.0-inch haptic touch display
- Rear temperature control zone
- Premium micro cabin filter
- Heat pump system
- Heated, ventilated front seats
- Heated rear outboard seats
- Rear door sunshade
- Smart key, push-button start
- Power boot with hands-free operation
- 100 per cent recycled PET cloth headliner
- Incl. pillars, sun visors
- Forged Wood recycled wood interior trim
- Stainless steel scuff plates
- Auto Hold
- Remote Start
- Smart Parking Assist
- Remote Smart Parking Assist
- Exterior V2L charging function
Key differences to G80 3.5T AWD Luxury Package:
- Electrified-unique 19-inch alloys
- Electrified-unique grille, bumpers
- Solar roof (removes sunroof)
- Bio-processed Nappa leather upholstery
- Instrument cluster with EV dedicated graphics
- Heat pump system
- Exterior V2L charging function
- Uyuni White
- Saville Silver
- Valencia Gold
- Capri Blue
- Makalu Gray
- Vik Black
- Havana Red
- Hallasan Green
- Matira Blue (Electrified exclusive)*
- Verbier White Matte*
- Makalu Gray Matte*
*Matte and exclusive finishes cost $2000 extra
- Obsidian Black
- Havana Brown
- Forest Blue
- Glacier White (Electrified Exclusive)
While four-cylinder Genesis G80 models wear a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on Euro NCAP testing, the Electrified G80 remains unrated.
The petrol-powered G80 scored 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for the protection of child occupants, 77 per cent for vulnerable road users and 80 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- 10 airbags incl. front centre, driver’s knee
- Active bonnet
- Adaptive cruise control
- Incl. stop/go, machine learning
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Car, Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Turning, Junction Crossing Assist
- Lane change oncoming, side
- Reverse AEB
- Steering Assist
- Blind-spot assist
- Blind Spot View Monitor
- Driver attention warning
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
- Lane Following Assist
- Lane keep assist
- Multi Collision Brake
- Parking sensors front, rear
- Pre-Safe seat belts, front
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- 360-degree cameras incl. 3D view
The Electrified G80 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as well as an eight-year warranty on the high-voltage EV battery.
It also comes with a range of owner benefits designed to win potential buyers over to the Genesis way of life.
Five years of scheduled maintenance maintenance is free, and Genesis will collect your car when it’s time for a service and leave a service loan vehicle for the same period.
There’s also 10 years of free roadside assist and satellite navigation map updates, and buyers of Genesis Electrified products also get the choice of a five-year subscription to the Chargefox network, or a complementary home AC charger including installation.
The regular Genesis G80 was already a gem, but this Electrified version could possibly be the best of the breed – provided you’re willing to stump the hefty premium for it.
It’s just as comfortable, if not more refined than the petrol and diesel versions, while offering a balance of strong performance and long range.
Even at $145,000 before on-road costs, there’s few electric sedans that offer this much space, luxury, range and performance for the same money. When you look at it this way it seems like relatively good value, plus it’s not just another Tesla or German-badged sedan – it really has its own personality.
Add in the five years of complementary maintenance as well as the choice of a free home charger or five years of unlimited fast-charging on the Chargefox network, it stacks up really well against more established brands.
Genesis Australia says it’s already received more than 600 enquiries about the Electrified G80, with plenty of interest from the private market. That’s quite a lot considering the brand has only delivered 55 units of the G80 so far in 2022.
While the Korean brand’s combustion-engined models may still be niche and a fairly rare sight on Australian roads, but Genesis’s foray into the EV arena could be its best chance yet of establishing itself in the market.
The Electrified G80 is quite a well-rounded offering, and even at $145k it has little in the way of direct competition.
Areas for improvement include adding Genesis Connected Services, a less compromised boot, and perhaps a more comfort-focused suspension, but the Electrified G80 otherwise nails the brief of a large, luxury saloon that combines the distinctive and dynamic G80 package with long-range zero-emissions motoring.
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MORE: Everything Genesis G80