Korean luxury brand Genesis has revealed its first-ever production EV in China today, as part of Auto Shanghai 2021. It’s call Electrified G80, and it represents much more than the “new era of electrification” it says in the press release. By making its debut in China, Hyundai-owned Genesis is taking the fight directly to Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.
“Today is very special because it represents a variety of firsts for the Genesis brand, not only because this is Genesis’ very first appearance at Auto Shanghai, but also as the first time we are unveiling a new product outside of Korea,” said Jay Chang, Global Head of the Genesis brand, underscoring Genesis’ march on the Chinese market. “The Electrified G80 [is] the perfect balance of athleticism and elegance, marks the beginning of our journey into the EV market.”
2022 Genesis Electrified G80 | The Car
If Genesis wants to play in the red-hot electric luxury sedan market, it’s going to have to bring something substantial to the table, and just on looks alone, it seems like it has. The new Electrified G80 looks an awful lot like the recent Genesis X Concept coupe that’s been compared to both Bentleys and the classic “shark-bodied” BMW 6 series of the 1980s. It was a great-looking concept, in other words, and the production Electrified G80 is a great-looking car. So far, so good.
As far as technology goes, the Electrified G80 delivers with more than 500 km (310 miles) of driving range based on the Korean rating system, which (by my math) works out to about 275 miles according to the US system. It’s nowhere near breaking any records, but it compares well to the Polestar 2 and Audi e-Tron models it will likely be competing against. The company also claims that its 350kW rapid charging tech would enable owners to charge the battery to charge from 10% to 80% in just 22 minutes. That works out to about 10 miles of additional per minute of fast-charging time, and remember: you don’t have to charge to 100% every time you stop, and a 5- or 10-minute charge time may be more than enough to get you where you’re going.
Inside, the Electrified G80 sends a message that’s a bit more confused, and that’s not because of the relatively conventional dash and infotainment display (which are fine). Instead, it’s because the company pats itself on the back for its use of “natural dyes for the seats, console, and rear seat armrest, eco-friendly natural wood trim with recycled wood, and environment-friendly, recycled PET fabrics” in the same paragraph that it brags about its use of natural leather. It feels like they’re trying to straddle a line here between traditional luxury customers who are looking for “real” leather and more eco-conscious buyers who might be turned off by natural hides after being exposed to high quality synthetics like Alcantara. I’m not really sure what to make of it, but I’m sure some of you have opinions you’re willing to share in the comments section.
While you form your thoughts on the interior, you might also be interested to learn that Genesis’ Electrified G80 does a fair job of carrying on EVs’ growing high-performance heritage with a sub 5-second 0-60MPH time and an advanced AWD system that uses a Disconnector Actuator System (DAS) to connect or disconnect the motor and drive shaft based as needed, enabling the vehicle to switch between RWD and AWD to reduce unnecessary power loss, increase driving efficiency, and maximize traction for superior all-weather handling. Probably.
At the end of the day, the Electrified G80 is just that: a G80 that’s been fitted with an electric powertrain in place of the usual V6. Sure, the grill on the electric version works a bit better with the overall design and the Electrified G80 is 100% the fastest one, but it’s not the car that Genesis is going to use to deflect the upstarts like Lucid or the established players like the revised Tesla Model S and Mercedes’ all-new EQS. What this car will do is take some volume away from Mercedes’ existing E Class offerings in China and maybe pull some buyers who are sick of waiting for a Polestar 2 or Tesla Model 3.
That’s my take, anyway. What’s yours? Do you think this new electric contender from Genesis is going to carve itself a happy little niche in the Chinese market, or is this effort too little, too late from the Korean brand? And how do you feel about the use of “natural leather?” Scroll on down to the comments section and let us know!
2022 Genesis Electrified G80 | Gallery
Source | Images: Genesis.