► All-electric G80 with a range of 323 miles
► Ultra-fast charging in 21 minutes
► 365hp and 0-62mph in 4.9sec
If the regular Genesis G80 is a good looking car with a decent engine, the Genesis Electrified G80 is a borderline car that’s perhaps hampered by a silly name. ‘Electrified’ suggests semantic shenanigans tied to mild-hybrid systems and the like, desperate to give their makers some green catch-up credentials – when in fact this particular G80 is a 100% electric vehicle, no local carbon emissions in sight .
As with the new 7/i7 series situation, the visual makeover to identify the electric version is relatively subtle. Genesis inverted the grille design (cleverly hiding the charging port in the process), massaged the bumpers and fitted 19-inch aero-inspired turbine-style wheels to indicate that this G80 is electric. And like BMWs, the attached driving experience speaks modernity to the past.
It’s not a jaw-dropping super-fast EV experience. But with dual-motor all-wheel drive, 365bhp and intriguing real-world stats like 50-75mph in 3.2 seconds, it’s fast and relatively quiet. And while the 2325kg minimum curb weight isn’t exactly svelte, a stiffer build and incredibly taut body control make it a willing partner if you want to get more intimately involved.
Really, though, as with other Genesis models, the electric G80 stands out as an alternative choice with strong, distinctive styling, a beautifully finished interior and the promise of a potentially superior ownership package.
Has anyone ever made a Phil Colins joke?
Hundreds. We even mentioned the other Genesis when Hyundai launched its luxury sub-brand in 2015. What we should probably focus on better is how fast it seems to be moving – having finally reached the UK in 2021, the electrified G80 already represents its second full-EV (after the GV60), and it’s not done yet.
Of course, these cars can’t compete with the solid gold image offered by the usual (German) suspects, but the company came out strong. The styling is different but consistent and probably won’t send anyone running adrift – we also promise the G80 looks less like a porpoise in real life than it does in these pictures – and the build quality at least seems to be top-notch class.
The electrical switchgear here is much nicer than it is in the average Mercedes, for example, and – praise the lord – there’s plenty of it. This means that Genesis has not simply integrated all the main functions into the central touch screen, as gigantic and high definition as it is.
Ok, you have my attention
Good. There’s a real sense of well-designed luxury about the electrified G80, and clear, sensible thinking. Small details that please include simple things like displaying your actual speed right next to the speed limit on sat nav, so you can easily see the extent of the ban. The way the ‘hands’ on the digital dials glow like lightsabers in Sport mode is also a nice touch, although the button to change drive modes could be a little bigger/easier to locate quickly.
Other areas people are likely to scoff at include rear headroom (limited by the curved roofline, though there’s plenty of legroom) and boot space ( reduced by the need to cram in the EV stuff).
But overall, the impression you get from this thing even before you turn the wheel is very good. And that’s before you even consider the “personal assistant” direct sales approach, the five-year warranty, the five-year maintenance package, and some clever tech tricks, such as the ability to manage a 10 to 80% charge of an 87.2 kWh battery. in just 21 minutes. Claimed range is 323 useful miles.
Still, it should be noted from the start that if you expect it to be fully loaded and cheaply priced just because the brand is relatively unknown and out of Korea, you will have to adjust your brain. Sold in a single luxury trim line, the base cost is a sizable £65,805 – which quickly rises once you’re stuck in the various option packs, which you’ll need if you want all the truly fancy features .
Digital instruments and head-up display? In addition. The latter is worth having because it’s informative without being overwhelming, and you’ll want the former because you’ll also want the Blind Spot Monitor View system. This turns the virtual speedo or tachometer into a camera view on the side of the car whenever you activate the indicators.
Thankfully, Genesis packs all of that into the Innovation Pack, alongside adaptive LED headlights and the semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist II system (with ‘machine learning’ no less). But it also charges £3,840 for the privilege – and there are four other major packs also available, including one that adds a solar panel in the roof (at £1,360 for just a charging net, probably not our top pick).
The electric G80 can also be fitted with a vehicle to charge, so you can use the drive battery as an external power source (it’s a much more reasonable £250 must), not to mention the seats of ergo-comfort massage, soft-close doors and video screens for rear passengers. All at an additional cost. A touch not so invisible.
You get 10 airbags as standard, though, including a rare mid-front one to keep you from bumping into your mid-shunt co-driver.
Does the driving experience spoil everything?
No way. The electrified G80 won’t thrill you like an i4 or Taycan, and the ride isn’t as magical as the camera-controlled adaptive suspension might suggest, but it largely acquits itself with admirable balance. Body control is good, and although the steering is heavy, it feels authentic enough without being overbearing or becoming fatiguing on long drives.
Likewise, the front end, assisted by the all-wheel drive, has plenty of bite but isn’t super sharp. So while it goes pretty briskly, there’s also a bit of a “whoa, stable” vibe to it. More like a reliable friend than a wild acquaintance who might encourage you to get too involved and get carried away.
For example, while there’s no question that ‘high-end, high-revving electric motors’ are good for the 139mph top speed – we’ve spent a lot of time on the highway above 130 – the G80 makes you feel it more than most stable German executives. metal never does. As if he wasn’t really comfortable with such a move, and thinks you better take things a little easier.
That feeling of EV superiority kicks in with the one-pedal ride capability as usual. Here you have a choice of four levels of regeneration controlled by the paddles on the steering wheel, as well as an automatic I-Pedal setting that uses surrounding traffic to gauge how much slowing is required. It works remarkably intuitively
Also interesting is the way the car seems to relax when you back off the regen rating with the paddles, the reduced drag making it almost physically lighter on its feet and encouraging you to drive more efficiently. While it also packs all the quick-reacting punch of a single-speed transmission, 365bhp and 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds suggest.
Genesis Electrified G80: the first verdict
You’re going to have to buy the air of mystery riding around in a relatively unknown luxury car. But if you do, the payoff with the electrified G80 will be the enjoyment of a class-leading interior, some of the fastest charging speeds and a thoroughly decent driving experience.
However, it will cost you a lot to get a fully specified one, and we are not in a position to judge how much a pain the lack of a conventional dealer network will be in case of trouble. But in this regard, Genesis may not be much different from Polestar, or even Tesla.