When it comes to launching a line-up of battery-powered vehicles, no manufacturer has moved more quickly than Genesis. In barely a year, it has introduced “Electrified” versions of both its G80 sedan and GV70 SUV. Now, the South Korean luxury brand is rolling out its first ground-up EV, the GV60.
Set to go up against such high-line BEVs as the Audi e-Tron, Cadillac Lyriq and Polestar 2, the 2023 Genesis GV60 boasts a distinctive design, a lavishly appointed — and technologically sophisticated cabin — as well as good performance and reasonable range.
First unveiled last August, the new GV60 is just starting to roll into U.S. dealer showrooms.
To get a feel for what the electric SUV has to offer, I caught a flight to Tinseltown, spending a long day driving the 2023 GV60 from Hollywood out to the Malibu canyons and then back along the Pacific Coast Highway.
“Electrification” is set to become a foundation of the young Genesis brand which will soon have three all-electric models on sale. The 2023 Genesis GV60 is really the one to watch. Designed from the ground up to run exclusively on battery power, it provides a clear roadmap to the marque’s future plans, both from a design and technology standpoint.
The GV60 picks up on familiar Genesis design cues but the package also takes advantage of the benefits provided by a “skateboard” style platform. That translates into a compact exterior footprint with a midsize interior.
There are some quirky touches, and lots of interesting features, including facial and fingerprint recognition systems that let you skip carrying a key.
And while neither as quick nor as long range as a Tesla Model Y Performance package, the Genesis GV60 is fast enough — and a lot of fun to drive. And, its distinctive looks turned heads everywhere I drove the new BEV.
The Genesis GV60 is based on the same E-GMP, or Electric-Global Modular Platform, underpinning upcoming products like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. The key feature is the way batteries and motors are mounted below the load floor. That frees up space normally used for an engine compartment, allowing for more passenger and cargo space, despite a smaller vehicle footprint. It also lowers the center of gravity, helping improve handling.
The crossover picks up on some of the familiar styling cues seen on other Genesis products, including the brand’s now-familiar two-line quad headlamps. The lights frame a modified version of the signature “Crest Grille.” It’s completely sealed, however, since there’s no need to send air under the hood when there’s no internal combustion engine.
Surprisingly, under a clamshell hood, the GV60 does not feature a “frunk,” or front trunk, like some other new battery-electric vehicles. The crossover has a much smaller front end than other Genesis CUVs and the modest amount of space under the hood has been used for both electronics and crash absorption systems. The trade-off is a roomier cabin and rear cargo compartment.
Viewed from the side, the new BEV features a more coupe-like profile than the gas-powered GV70 and GV80 crossovers.
What’s clear is that Genesis isn’t playing it safe with the GV60. The overall look is polarizing. That said, during my time driving around Tesla-crazed Los Angeles, I saw a lot of motorists flash the thumbs-up sign — including many Tesla owners who may be growing tired of seeing identical vehicles everywhere they turn.
The first thing you’ll likely notice as you climb into the cabin of the 2023 Genesis GV60 is the huge screen that stretches almost two-thirds of the way across the top of the instrument panel. The single pane of glass actually conceals twin 12.3-inch digital displays, one for the gauge cluster, the other handling infotainment duties.
There’s also a large head-up display. And, just below the central screen there’s a small touchpad that handles a variety of vehicle functions, including climate controls. Kudos to Genesis designers for remembering a real volume control knob.
Next, you’ll quickly discover just how roomy it is. That’s a clear benefit of using a skateboard-like BEV platform.
But while this “architecture” is shared with mainstream Hyundai Motor Group products like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, the Genesis GV60 is decidedly more distinctive and luxurious.
The brand’s designers were targeting a look they describe as “warm digital.” There are plenty of classic elements — though often with a twist. Some of the materials are made from recycled pop bottles and fishing nets. There are “vegan leather” surfaces. And, funkiest of all, there’s the crystal sphere, a sci-fi-like orb that dominates the center console. The laser-etched sphere lights up when you enter the GV60 and then rolls over to reveal the crossover’s shifter.
Another distinctive touch: a drawer-style glovebox. It’s smaller — but more useful than the glovebox you’ll find in most vehicles today.
Globally, the Genesis GV60 will be offered with a variety of different powertrain options, including a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive package making a moderate 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
For the U.S., however, there will be two all-wheel-drive versions, starting with the GV60 Advanced. Its twin motors will generate 314 hp and 446 lb-ft. The 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack will yield an EPA-estimated range of 248 miles per charge.
For those who want more muscle, there’s the Genesis GV60 Performance package which bumps output to 429 hp and 446 hp. And if you need a little more, hit the “Boost” button to take the numbers up to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft for up to 10 seconds at a time. That will get you from 0 to 60 in about four seconds flat.
The added power does take a toll, albeit a modest one, range on the Performance package slipping to 235 miles between charges.
The GV60 features the ability to increase brake regeneration — used to recapture energy normally lost during braking and coasting — in four steps. The most aggressive mode is called “1-Pedal Driving,” and feels a lot like what happens when you drop a manual transmission on a gas model several gears. It allows a motorist to slow, even stop, simply by modulating the throttle.
The 2023 Genesis GV60 features an electrical architecture that can switch between 400 and 800 volts. The higher figure kicks in when using a public high-speed charger to cut the time you need to be plugged in. That allows the BEV to go from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge in as little as 18 minutes using a 350-kilowatt public charger. Plugging into a typical 240-volt home charger will require 7 hours to reach 100% of battery capacity.
In South Korea, Genesis will offer inductive charging for the GV60 — similar to the wireless charging many use for smartphones. For now, a spokesman told me, the system isn’t planned for the U.S.
Safety and Technology
The “crystal sphere” is one of the most distinctive features of the new GV60 and, Genesis claims, it actually serves a purpose, by changing shades when the SUV is running to make it easy to be sure what gear you’re in. Considering there’s basically just forward and reverse, the benefits — beyond the “cool factor” — seem marginal.
But there’s a lot more useful technology to focus on, starting with that big digital display that covers a vast amount of real estate atop the instrument panel. The infotainment system is easy to program and, since the GV60 has the ability to use smartphone-style over-the-air updates, it will get new functions and features going forward, Genesis officials promise.
The OTA system already has multiple benefits. The navigation system is cloud-based, permitting traffic data, as well as revised mapping on the fly. In turn, it integrates into the Preview Electronic Control System. Using both a front camera and the navigation data, GV60’s air suspension automatically adjusts to soften the blow from obstacles like speed bumps and potholes.
The GV60 also has Vehicle-to-Load, or V2L, capabilities. In lay terms, think of it as a mobile battery backup that can be used to run power tools, chill a cooler, even provide some energy for lights and appliances should your home get hit by a blackout.
The Genesis BEV also has a smartphone-sized camera mounted in the driver’s B-pillar. It can be programmed to recognize your face and open the door. Then, when inside, a fingerprint sensor can start the car, both functions working without a key. Of course, you could also use the GV60 smartphone app to go keyless.
I had the chance to log plenty of miles behind the wheel of the 2023 Genesis GV60, from the crowded streets of Los Angeles to the rural canyon roads outside Malibu. I alternated between heavy traffic and high speeds on US 101, and then wrapped up cruising along the ocean on Pacific Coast Highway.
No matter what I threw at the new BEV it handled with aplomb. While not quite as quick as the Tesla Model Y Performance edition, there’s little to apologize for clocking 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds in my GV60 Performance package. And power comes on instantaneously — one of the benefits of electric motors which make 100% of their peak torque the moment they start spinning.
The SUV’s steering was precise and predictable, unlike some BEVs which have an unnaturally notchy feel. The Preview Electronic Control System might not be unique — Mercedes first offered it on the S-Class — but it really does help soften out your ride, especially in Comfort Mode.
Equally impressive was the way the GV60 hunkered down when I took it onto my favorite back route, Latigo Canyon Road, in Malibu. This is the sort of torturously twisted route — with many a high cliff without guardrails — that tempt and challenge even the most agile sports cars. No, I’m not going to say it was like driving a Ferrari, but my GV60 ran through those turns far more aggressively than I might have initially expected.
I was particularly fond of the GV60’s 1-Pedal Mode which allowed me to wind my way through the canyon by modulating the throttle. I didn’t hit the brake more than a half-dozen times, and only when entering the most aggressive corners.
2023 Genesis GV60 Advanced Package Specifications
|Dimension||L: 177.6 inches/W: 74.4 inches/H: 62.2 inches/Wheelbase: 114.2 inches|
|Powertrain||dual electric motor with 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack; AWD|
|Performance Specs||314 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $58,890, plus $1,090 handling; As tested: N/A|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
Spend any time in California these days and you’ll see wagon trains of Teslas. They’re becoming as much a caricature as the old Toyota Prius was a decade ago. There are reasons why products like the Model Y, in particular, have gotten so popular. But there are also plenty of reasons why Tesla could be facing some challenges going forward.
And the 2023 Genesis GV60 is one of them. It’s a far more distinctively and luxuriously styled vehicle, both inside and out — one reason why I saw so many Tesla drivers checking me out and even offering the occasional thumbs up.
Even if you leave Tesla out of the equation, the GV60 has a lot going for it, including its extensive list of technologies. Sure, some might seem a bit gimmicky, like the fingerprint sensor and the crystal sphere — which I personally find both funky and cool. But the overall package is impressive and the pricing is more than reasonable once you realize the two versions of the GV60 come fully equipped, with no options to jack up a seemingly affordable base price.
The GV60 Advanced Package comes in at $58,890, the Performance Package at $67,890. Add $1,090 for delivery fees.
Making the deal even better Genesis provides buyers with three years of complementary 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America charge stations.
The biggest challenge Genesis is likely to face is a lack of awareness of this relatively new brand. But with products like the conventional G70 sedan and GV80 SUV, it’s gaining notoriety. And I expect even more buyers will want to check out the 2023 Genesis GV60.
2023 Genesis GV60 — Frequently Asked Questions
How much will the 2023 Genesis GV60 cost?
There will be two versions of the Genesis GV60 and you’ll pay $58,890 for the Advanced Package, $67,890 for the Performance Package — before adding in $1,090 for delivery fees. Note there are no options. Both versions come with all available features.
Who makes the Genesis GV60?
The all-electric GV60 is built by Genesis, the luxury brand spun off by Hyundai. It will be the brand’s third battery-electric vehicle.
Are Genesis products reliable?
The brand routinely tops quality charts such as the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which looks at the number of “problems” experienced by motorists during the first 90 days of ownership. It’s also scoring at the top of the Vehicle Dependability Study which measures quality and reliability after three years.