Genesis, the upmarket Korean brand, has announced that its new compact sedan, the G70, is now available to buy in the Middle East.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Genesis brand, it’s Hyundai’s answer to the likes of Lexus and Infiniti. Basically, in their quest to steal ever more market share from the Japanese carmakers, the Korean manufacturers are going premium. And because the Hyundai brand is more associated with saving money, the idea was to create a premium brand free of the Hyundai baggage.
It’s straight out of the playbook written by Toyota when it launched the Lexus brand.
Anyway, the G70 completes Genesis’ core sedan line-up, sitting at the bottom of the range to compete with the likes of the Lexus IS and, to a point, the BMW 3 Series. Its styling is certainly along Korean lines, but the flashes of chrome (and that massive grille) mark the G70 out as something a little more special than a standard sedan.
And it’s quick, depending on the engine you choose. You can have either a 3.3-litre V6, or else a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder. Obviously you want the V6, which sits at the heart of the G70 Sport. It produces almost 370 bhp and offers up a 0-100 km/h time of 4.7 seconds. You’ll be worrying fast Audis in this thing. The 2.0-litre turbo is no slouch, mind – it develops 250 bhp, which is more than enough to be getting on with.
Whichever model you choose, power is sent via an 8-speed automatic gearbox to either the rear wheels, or all four, if you’re safety conscious.
That should mean it’s a decent drive (we’d hope so, given the Genesis name was originally used on the excellent Hyundai Coupe when that went rear-drive). What should also help handling is the fact that the G70 actually shares its platform with the Kia Stinger, one of our favourite fast saloons. That means it’s got a proper limited-slip differential, dynamic torque vectoring, and launch control. Yep, launch control. In a Korean sedan.
Inside, you get a sumptuous interior that may not be up there with the best that Lexus can throw at you, but looks nice enough. Genesis promises “superb fit and finish throughout”.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the G70 start at just a smidge less than what you’d pay for an equivalent Lexus IS.
What do you reckon? Would this be enough to pull you away from your Lexus?