Australian buyers of luxury saloons have reason to be excited as the prospect of new entrants to the space are a rare occurrence. Sure, the G80 isn’t exactly an all-new car, but the smaller G70 holds much more promise of a shake up.
The pair’s introduction is significant to brand as a whole as well given that it marks the official market introduction of Genesis to the Australian market. Starting with its shiny inaugural showroom in Sydney, a Melbourne location is earmarked for a 2020 opening.
These bespoke factory-owned sales galleries are an important distinguishing factor between Genesis and the group’s more mainstream brands such as Hyundai and Kia, and indeed the numerous delays led many to believe the existing dealer network for those latter makes would be leveraged to feature the new luxury portfolio.
Hyundai has had a number of years to get their Genesis brand off the ground and in a competitive stance. The luxury sub-brand has so far ticked the 3 major size/price categories starting with the G80 and G90, based on the Hyundai Genesis and Equus respectively.
We’ve covered the G70 and G80 a few times before, commenting on the strong reception it has received in other markets, especially in the United States where, outside its home turf of South Korea, the brand has been focusing its sales and marketing efforts the most.
The G80 remains underpinned by the foundations previously laid by the Hyundai Genesis, a pseudo-limousine that aims to bruise the BMW 5 Series’ pride with a generous offering of opulence and equipment and value.
Meanwhile, the focus of this writeup, the smaller and sharper G70, will lock horns with the 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class with a balanced, driver-focused platform and powertrain combination broadly similar to that of the Kia Stinger. it’s a potentially potent combination that could ruffle some feathers within the German triumvirate. It also benefits from specific ride handling tuning work done for Australian roads.
Still, the path to mainstream success is a rough and perilous one and often excellent cars from the likes of Lexus and Infiniti still struggle against the perception of being left-field despite many valid merits over the established market leaders.
The Australian-spec G70 will be offered in 6 variants starting with the base 2.0T that, unsurprisingly, are powered by a four-pot turbocharged petrol engines displacing 2.0-litres. Power and torque stand at 180kW and 353Nm, mirroring that of the Hyundai i30 N and is unchanged over the more expensive grades, 2.0T Sport and 2.0T Ultimate.
Above these, the base 3.3T Sport, 3.3T Ultimate, and 3.3T Ultimate Sport share a common peak outputs as well: 272kW and 510Nm, numbers that should be familiar to any fan of the V6-powered Stinger. The main differences between all these variants are their degree of cosmetic and equipment upgrades how they scale on the car’s slogan of ‘Dramatic Grace’. Just as well, the six-cylinder versions also gain adaptive suspension, torque vectoring, and variable ratio steering.
All versions of the G70 will somewhat dynamically endowed thanks to a fairly talented chassis baseline and rear-wheel drive - the XTRAC all-wheel drive system that has appeared on the G70 in other countries has been omitted from our local spec. No matter the engine, a ZF 8-speed automatic is in charge of shifting duties.
Even on the base 2.0T, standard equipment includes 18-inch alloys, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, dual-zone climate control, and there’s even a wireless phone charging pad.
Safety features, too, are well catered for. Among other things, AEB is supplied from the get-go, as you’d expect, but so are a total of 7 airbags, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, and all-round parking sensors.
Moving to the Sport, which applies to both engine options, the G70 gets more aggressive interior and exterior trim, larger 19-inch alloys with grippier Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, a mechanical limited slip differential, and a set of Brembo high performance brake calliper and rotor package.
In the Ultimate, the more luxury-oriented of the range, niceties such as dynamic cornering lights, Nappa leather upholstery with heated and cooled front seats, a 360-degree camera, and a more powerful 15-speaker system are included. Lastly, G70 in Ultimate Sport trim aims to blend most, if not all, the features offered in both Sport and Ultimate grades, and therefore sits at the top of the range.
|3.3T Ultimate Sport||$79,950|