Big luxury sedans seem like the perfect candidates for electrification. These segments are often associated with quietness and plushness.
So it seems like a no brainer that part of the Genesis electrification strategy includes electrifying its big G80 sedan. While this isn’t a bespoke EV platform, it’s a stepping stone to a bespoke EV platform that will power future generations of Genesis electric vehicles.
The Genesis Electrified G80 is all about taking the internal combustion platform and switching it out with electric components.
How well does it work? We had the chance to drive a pre-production vehicle at a closed track near Sydney to find out.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed for Australia yet, but it’s expected to be around the $150,000 mark when it goes on sale later in 2022.
For reference, this is around the same price as the Tesla Model S Long Range before pricing was removed from the company’s website.
The Electrified G80 will be sold in Australia in a single specification that mirrors the Luxury Pack, meaning it’ll pick up all the bells and whistles.
Don’t expect a huge deviation inside the cabin from the combustion-powered G80. Genesis has focussed on making the Electrified G80 look and feel very much like its internal combustion sibling.
That means inside the cabin it’s all about minimalist luxury. Some brands go to down with big screens and electronics overload to compensate for the big sticker price you’re paying for the luxury model.
Genesis on the other hand keeps it simple and focusses on perception of luxury. There are soft-touch finishes as far as the eye can see, while the infotainment system has a similar look and feel to other high-end Genesis variants.
That means a big 14.5-inch colour touchscreen that’s driven by touch or by a rotary controller just near the gear selector. It’s easy enough to use, high resolution and comes with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – although both of these are wired, so there’s no wireless smartphone connectivity unfortunately.
Ahead of the driver is a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that offers 3D layering. We don’t really love the look and feel of the 3D layering system and tend to typically switch that off. It lacks clarity and doesn’t offer any real tangible benefit over a single layered screen.
It’s a super cosy place to be seated too with modest woodgrain used throughout the cabin. The seats even have air pockets in them that can be charged for the purpose of massaging while driving. It’s cool technology that works well, as in you can actually feel it doing something – some of the cheaper massage seat systems are pretty ineffective in terms of their operation.
Genesis has strangely chosen to go down the path of USB-A connectivity in the G80. It’s a strange move given the world is moving to USB-C connectivity and their latest and greatest model is devoid of this modern plug type.
The second row offers plenty of knee room, but toe room is compromised, as is head room. It feels like they’ve tried to shoehorn the battery pack into the floor and as a result of that haven’t left adequate space for toes. Head room is similarly compromised thanks to the sloping roof line.
Two entertainment displays ahead of the rear passengers offer touchscreen functionality, while the centre arm rest features further controls for the screens, ambient lighting and electric rear blind.
Cargo space has been significantly compromised thanks to the electric drive components. It kind of feels like an older LPG Falcon that would take up the space at the back section of the boot. The Electrified G80 has a similar hump in the boot that robs you of cargo capacity, quoted at 354 litres compared to the 424L offered by regular G80 models.
One thing we did love was the solar array on the roof of the Electrified G80. While it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it offers the ability to inject about 800Wh of battery capacity over the duration of a day. It’s not much, but it’s heat energy that would otherwise have been wasted.
Powering the Genesis Electrified G80 is a dual motor electric system that features an electric motor on each axle. The equi-sized electric motors produce 136kW a piece, making for combined outputs of 272kW and 700Nm.
It pulls its energy from a 87.2kWh battery and features Hyundai and Kia’s new high-tech charging platform.
On the charging front, the Electrified G80 features the same 400/800V charging architecture as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. That means AC charging at up to 11kW using three phase and DC charging at up to 350kW.
In addition to charging, the Electrified G80 is capable of V2L with a power output of 3.6kW. Driving range is yet to be confirmed for the Australian market, but we expect it to be over 500km.
Genesis quotes a 0-100km/h time of around five seconds.
It’s worth calling out once more the vehicle we drove was a pre-production example. While the final production vehicle will feature a suspension tune with components from other markets, the vehicle we drove didn’t have complete suspension parts or a complete production tune.
But, in saying that, we were pretty damn impressed with it. From a standing start it feels like any other electric vehicle – it’s smooth, punchy and does all the electric things right.
At low speeds the steering is light and the throttle is responsive enough without snapping your neck if you kick it too hard. In terms of energy regeneration, the Electrified G80 offers three levels of regen, along with a ‘single pedal’ driving mode that allows it to come to a full stop without using the brake pedal.
It goes from a Level 0 regen mode where it coasts entirely, through to an aggressive regeneration mode that slows things much quicker.
What impressed us the most was the ride. The Electrified G80 will sit on 19-inch alloy wheels for the Australian market and use a camera that reads the road ahead to tailor adaptive damping response.
While that ride is incredibly plush and smooth when just driving around, it almost changes personality entirely when it’s shifted into Sport mode. In Sport mode the full 700Nm of torque can be felt in full effect when it pins you back in the seat and begins to feel like a vehicle half its size.
It sits flat through corners and the well-sorted stability control system allows you to keep the foot in out of tight corners while it sorts the rest out. It moves nothing like its size would suggest and despite carrying a 2300kg mass – about 300kg heavier than an internal-combustion G80.
Genesis has managed to integrate the whole system nicely too thanks to progressive brake pedal feel and a good transition between regeneration and friction brakes.
The silence inside the cabin is next level too. It’s already quiet thanks to the level of sound insulation to keep road and wind noise at bay, but being electric it’s inherently more quiet with the internal combustion engine being removed from the equation.
There’s a real vibe about the Genesis Electrified G80.
When you sit it next to its German competitors it has a real presence and feels like it’s more than just a big luxury sedan.
It’s not mentally quick like a Tesla Model S, but I’m fine with that. It doesn’t need to be that way and where the Model S delivers in straight-line performance, the Electrified G80 trumps it in luxury as well as fit and finish.
For some, if not most, that will mean more than how quickly it moves in a straight line.
The Electrified G80 is hard to fault. Outside of the toe room in the second row and the boot space being down on the internal combustion version, it sets a high waterline in the luxury EV sedan segment.
I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a production version to see if it feels just as good as a final product.
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