By on January 16, 2019

As bargain luxury brands go, Genesis Motors is aiming high — seemingly fixated on taking down its German competitors at a fraction of the price. However, while Genesis is capable of rumbling with its rivals’ base models with total confidence, it doesn’t have the hardware necessary to bash in the heads of most models wearing AMG or M badges.

That could soon change. 

In a recent interview with Road & Track, Hyundai product planner Mike O’Brien hinted a hotter Genesis G70 may be in the works. “A big effort with the G70 was thermal management, to make sure that this car will hold up,” O’Brien said at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. “We’re building for the future. I’ll just say that.”

Proper thermal management is essential for all vehicles, but you don’t really hear automakers discussing it beyond the confines of performance applications with any genuine excitement. As a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, the luxury arm is also under the supervision of the company’s recently promoted head of R&D, Albert Biermann — whose credentials include BMW’s M division and, more recently, Hyundai’s derivatively named N division.

From Road & Track:

That note about extra cooling capacity in the G70 seems to indicate that Genesis wants to offer something sportier than the standard car, perhaps with racetrack performance in mind. An M3-fighter? That seems ambitious, but then again, so was targeting the 3-Series in the first place. And given how sweetly the current G70 drives, maybe Genesis could just pull it off.

Would such a model be badged as a G70 N? O’Brien told me it’s too early to say. Genesis is still figuring out how it wants to brand any eventual performance cars.

Hyundai is placing increasing importance on getting into racing in North America, as evidenced by the new Veloster N TCR race car. It’ll make its competition debut later this month at Daytona in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series. O’Brien says Hyundai is looking at more motorsports opportunities in the US, and he personally wants to see Genesis involved in racing.

“We’re looking at different things, as you can imagine. Whether it’s GT3 or GT4 or prototypes, we’re looking at all those things,” he explained. “It’s way too early to speculate on where we’re going to go, and of course, we have to think about where we want Genesis to go, where we want Hyundai to go. No decisions have been made at this point, but certainly, we need to think about it. We have two separate brands we need to build awareness and excitement around.”

The possibility of Genesis bringing out hotter trims over the next few years seems like a reasonably safe bet. As sedans lose market share to crossovers, many automakers have tried to appeal to enthusiasts and elevate profit margins by introducing performance-inspired appearance packages and even meaningful upgrades to their passenger cars. That, in addition to Hyundai hitting a homerun with its first batch of N cars, makes a pretty good case for Genesis to try something similar.

[Image: Genesis Motors]

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34 Comments on “A Performance-spec G70 for the Genesis Brand?...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    gorgeous car

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So knocking on the door of 400 hp and AWD with active suspension isn’t a performance car?

    Well I’ll be danged.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    “We want to make hotter versions of the car. Hotter cars need cooler radiators. Write that down, people.”

  • avatar
    bd2

    “Hotter” versions of the G70 will be coming about simply w/ the engine upgrades to the 2.5T (300 HP) and 3.5T (400 HP), likely arriving for the refresh.

    An actual performance variant?

    Don’t see one any earlier than for the next gen G70.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      The current small engine is a 2.0t, not 2.5t.

      Scintillating performance and a sweet drive was not what greeted me on a test drive late last summer. You can buy as many as you want here in Canada, they’re available unlike the dealer boondoggle hampering sales and availability in the US. Performance was merely OK and the auto trans was strange at times, the back seat a joke. It tramlined on worn roads with ruts. Didn’t knock me out. Wasn’t straining at the bit with eagerness, and didn’t seem notably sporty at all. I was disppointed after all the hype.

      I’ve never seen a vehicle get such a free pass and praise when so few have ever driven it. That four is no BMW, Audi or Honda 2.0t. The V6 is a different story, but so is the price. And you get lots of tire noise for free. Well made, though.

      • 0 avatar
        wooootles

        That sounds disappointing, considering the car looks good and one of the few hero sedans with a 6MT on any trim.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          The guys who have owned and driven the supposedly legendary generations of 3-series have reacted favorably to the 2.0T Sport manual.

          That’s enough for me.

          (However the no rear seat vents on the manual model is a definite no go.)

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Why? The lack of rear vents is a problem for the rear seat passenger who incidentally, do not write the check for the payment every month.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Cause the rear seat passengers would be elementary age and below.

            Momma’s 2016 Terrain doesn’t have rear seat vents and I think it was a stupid oversight on GMs part.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I grew up in Georgia riding around in a Jetta that the AC AND the power windows had died on. It builds character.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Yes, I know that – but my referencing of the 2.5T and 3.5T are for the upcoming new engines (along w/ a new 10 spd AT).

      • 0 avatar
        Nedmundo

        I drove a 2.0T with AWD, and I completely agree the transmission was strange. I found its behavior confusing, but didn’t really care because I’d want the MT anyway. The engine is just good enough. Otherwise, I thought the G70 was excellent. I was especially impressed by the suspension tuning, which struck a fantastic ride/handling balance. The steering actually had decent feel, and I liked the interior.

        I don’t care about the cramped back seat, but the small trunk is a problem. That and a couple of other issues could steer me elsewhere, but the G70 is definitely on the radar as a possible replacement for my 2010 TSX.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m generally happy with my 3.3T. It does need more top end and a little NVH refinement though.

      Or H/K could just offer the 5.0 in more things.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    Kill the Kia brand, make the dealers who have any money left convert to Genesis dealers and now you have Hyundai and Genesis.

    Sure, roll this up with a performance version, push it out through the Kia/ Genesis dealers and finally try and launch that brand in some cohesive fashion. That will stop all of the dealer wars and remove the Kia brand from this earth that is still intent on making sure every night via advertising that all you have to do is “bring your paycheck and you’ll be in a car”. Until they lose that mindset from the dwindling middle class they won’t sell $50k cars.

    Why hasn’t anyone from the company gone through the Lexus ownership experience? Whatever about the grilles, the Lexus dealer turns into your friend while they are totally ripping you a new one when you have your routine service!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I, and many others, have had good experience with Kias, including the dealer. In 15 combined years of driving two different Kias (290k combined miles), I’ve only needed dealer service once, and they honored the warranty without question.

      I’m sorry your experience was different.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      KIA/Genesis dealers?

      Those don’t exist.

      I’d suggest not running a company either as your idea is just flat out stupid.

  • avatar

    In my universe you get what you pay for. No free lunch guys, all that excitement is premature.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It would be a mistake to use the same branding as Hyundai for the performance vehicles. Don’t do it, Genesis. Come up with another letter or combination of letters.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I’m a Hyundai Genesis owner in Los Angeles. Still NO G70s available locally. Do you think that they should solve this issue before worrying about broadening the G70 line????

  • avatar
    Windy

    I will replace my car sometime this year and when I read something like this I head off to their website to see if anything they offer might be of interest… it did not take long for me to cross them off the list. Why? total lack of interesting color choice both outside paint and inside materials. aside from a red in their smallest offering (and I don’t much care for “Arrest Me Red” at my age) the bland choices on offer don’t interest me to look further.
    This has become a recurring theme of this years hunt… when was the last time you saw a car offer a dark green leather interior? and green cars in general have almost vanished from todays showrooms. as have all manor of bright colors and pastels that about two tone and tritone paint jobs?…. Perhaps they should offer cars in Primer with a voucher for a paint job of the buyers actual choice… and while I might not want a red car a nice red leather interior in a light silver green car might look rather striking… My folks had no trouble ordering that combo on a M-benz in the 1960s and it was not a special order for an extort $500 it was right there in the brochure.
    oh what the hell; end rant.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      One of the nice things about the Chevy SS was the color selection. It rotated quite a bit during the short 4 year run, but you had your choice of not 1, not 2, but 3 greens in some years. Also purple, orange, several blues and reds, then the boring majority that were black/silver/white.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Yeah, good luck with that. I am SO tired of black, grey, silver and white. I would love to find a British Racing Green or somesuch available. The closest I’ve come is some of the Toyota brands offer a metallic brown and a bright plastic looking blue, in some models. Reds come and go. Meanwhile all interiors are black, grey or a very sad shade of tan/ecru/off white. It would be great to have an interesting color so that I could find it in the mega mall parking lot.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I love me a nice green. I scooped up a terribly named Regal Peacock Green SS which is pretty close to a BRG. Interior is a boring black with a lighter gray headliner though. A really nice saddle/tan would have been better.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Genesis has to be the most poorly managed, tone-deaf brand launch in recent automotive history. Launching in not one, not two, but THREE heavily declining/dying/dead segments. No crossovers for years after launch. No EVs or hybrids on the horizon of any type. No brand recognition, because you’re using a name that the few people who have heard of it are used to saying after “Hyundai”. Apparently supply issues and a dealer model that still hasn’t been figured out. No obvious direction or overall mission. Extremely cheap looking badge/logo. Styling that is just as derivative, lazy and blatantly plagiaristic as the beloved XG350 and Amanti. Engineering that seems pulled from the modern Cadillac playbook, because it worked so well for them.

    The Koreans have a lot of good products, but they still insist on horrific money pits like this train wreck of a brand that keep their reputation from ever reaching the heights they should.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Genesis brand was launched at the end of 2015, so 3.5 years is decent time to develop a new model, the GV80 CUV, which is also on a new platform.

      Don’t know where you are getting your info from, but most of the Genesis lineup should be getting some kind of electrification (hybrid, the most likely) and Genesis has 2 dedicated BEV platforms in development, one of which would underpin a production version of the Essentia concept (if it gets the greenlight).

  • avatar
    gasser

    I agree 100% with you about the brand mismanagement. As the the cars, however, I think they’re great. I have a 2016 Hyundai Genesis with the 3.8 and RWD. It’s quiet, quick with very smooth shifting and excellent brakes. The electronic gadgets like back up sensors, blind spot monitors and automatic emergency braking are terrific. It has been dead reliable. The styling is subjective, but I like it. Would I buy another?? The sticking point is the horrific depreciation. I think the deal of a lifetime is to buy an 2 or 3 year old one with a good warranty and drive it for 5 or 6 years.

  • avatar
    PwrdbyM

    I’d love to see them actually pull off a performance variant and they certinaly seem to be on the right track with tackling heat. I won’t say the current M4 is perfect by any means, however I’ve spend hours on track in the car and watched them get beat on all day without any issues. I can’t say the same for vehicles such as the Corvette ZO6 which went into limp mode 3 laps in because of a lack of cooling. Any “performance” car can run a fast lap, but can they run sustained fast laps, that’s what separates great cars from posers.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Not going to make sense without good, track ready gearboxes

  • avatar
    jatz

    Just imagine what these concentric, convoluted snouts on modern cars would weigh if they weren’t plastic!


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