2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Review

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The new Genesis Electrified G80 is a talented luxury EV all-rounder with decent range and impressive refinement.

The term ‘electrified’ has been tenuously stretched by car makers’ marketing folk in recent years, increasingly applied to any form of hybrid car with even the merest hint of electric assistance in an attempt to make them sound greener and cleaner.

So you might be wondering what sort of hybrid powertrain Genesis’s new Electrified G80 features. But here’s the thing: it’s a pure battery-electric car. In fact, Genesis doesn’t even do hybrids: if you fancy yourself a big Korean luxury sedan, your choices are a turbocharged petrol engine or this dual-motor EV. Genesis uses ‘electrified’ to differentiate EV versions of multi-powertrain models (which is why the EV-only Genesis GV60 crossover doesn’t have the descriptor).

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It’s a temporary measure, given that by 2025, all new Genesis models will be EV-only, but it’s one example of how the ‘Genesis Difference’ might actually be more than marketing speak for the company’s sales, customer service and aftermarket care plan. And ‘different’ is a term that definitely fits the Electrified G80.

In combustion-engined form, the Genesis G80 offers a pleasingly alternative take on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. But with a dual-motor, 272kW electric powertrain and what is likely to be a circa $150,000 starting price in Australia, the Electrified G80 lands in an interesting place – priced well above the Tesla Model S and closer to that of the Mercedes-Benz EQE – which it’s notably longer than, at 5005mm.

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Genesis plans to launch the new Electrified G80 in Australia later this year and you won’t need to spend much time speccing one: there’s just the single powertrain and one battery.

An electric motor on each axle produces a combined 272kW and 700Nm. The motors can rev at 19,000rpm for a claimed smoother operation, and the system will switch from single-motor rear-drive to dual-motor mode automatically to balance performance and range.

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The motors are fed by an 87.2kWh battery, giving the Electrified G80 a WLTP range of 520km. It uses the same 800V charging tech as the GV60, allowing for fast-charging at up to 240kW, or 10-80 per cent in 21 minutes. While the headline rate is slightly lower than the 350kW the GV60 can achieve, due to its likely purpose as a long-haul cruiser, the Electrified G80 is engineered to hold its maximum rate for longer.

The GV60 sits on the Hyundai Motor Group’s bespoke electric E-GMP platform, whereas the Electrified G80 sits on a multi-powertrain architecture. But Genesis hasn’t just yanked out the engine and shoved in those electric motors: through extensive use of carbonfibre composites and other materials, its boffins have stripped out 46kg from the body-in-white. Once you add in the battery, the EV still weighs 2325kg, the best part of 400kg more than the ICE, but it has greater torsional rigidity and that slug of extra torque to shift the heft.

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There’s a pleasingly old-school charm to Genesis’s vision of luxury motoring. The Electrified G80 doesn’t stray far from the formula set by the regular version: a ‘G-Matrix’ plate in place of the radiator, bespoke bumpers and 19-inch alloy wheels are the only real subtle visual clues to the powertrain switch.

The interior is similarly refined but not reinvented: comfortable leather seats are standard, there’s bags of room and the controls both look and feel the part. While there’s plenty of tech and touchscreens, Genesis hasn’t lost appreciation of the pleasure of a well-weighted switch. That extends to the rear seats: only a real brand snob would fail to be impressed.

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We had plenty of praise for the refinement of the regular G80, and with a smooth, quiet electric powertrain mixed with active noise cancelling, that feeling is heightened. It’s a peaceful place to spend time, and the suspension soaks up all but the biggest bumps with ease, although it remains to be seen what the final Australian version will be like which will have its own unique tweaks. As with the combustion-engined G80, the EV puts the dynamic emphasis on luxury over sporting prowess. It retains much of the tech of the regular version, including electronically controlled suspension and adaptive dampers that use cameras to scan the road ahead.

It’s quick – all that torque allows for effortless acceleration and the ability to eat up motorway miles with commensurate ease – but this is a machine that’s best enjoyed at a more relaxed pace. The steering is well-weighted and the handling is predictable and confidence-inspiring, but it isn’t tremendously engaging to drive.

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As an executive sedan, there’s much to like and recommend about the Electrified G80 and how it uses electric tech to enhance its luxury brief. In an age when most premium EVs are SUVs or sports sedans, it’s something a little bit different – and pleasingly so.

James Attwood

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