2023 Genesis GV60 Hands-On: 5 Amazing Features That Make This a Very Special Car
Welcome to Genesis House. The brand’s immersive experience designed to let you explore the luxury brand’s vehicles and get a touch of Korean culture.
A Korean fine-dining tasting menu, a quiet library packed with rare volumes and editions, and a guided Korean tea ceremony. Oh, plus a full slate of Genesis cars and crossovers.
It’s the perfect place to explore the Genesis GV60 electric vehicle weeks before we’re able to drive it on the road. Maybe more importantly, to see it in the context of the luxury automaker’s brand and values, on display in all of its Korean glory.SEE ALSO: Genesis Unveils Audacious Plan To Go Fully Electric By 2030
GV60 is the first fully electric vehicle from Genesis. Built on the same dedicated EV platform used in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, Genesis has to work hard to make sure that this luxury electric is not just up to the standards of the class in amenities, features, and powertrain, but that it is sufficiently differentiated from its corporate siblings.
Every automaker has learned the lessons of General Motors and Ford, offering the same cars with bargain-basement badges and top-spec names. Genesis has always been more than just a rebadge and some leather, the brand is a serious competitor to BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. But here it needs to take special care to make sure it is different.
Will the Crystal Sphere Tell the Genesis Future?
Enter the Crystal Sphere. This design element is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen in a car, and, frankly, we’re shocked that it is making the journey into production. Photos of the ball are one thing, but to experience it is another.
Sitting in the floating console, the sphere appears to dance and play in the light. Move around the sphere, changing your viewing angle, and the lighting inside the sphere moves. The light can even change colour, following in step with the personalized interior ambient lighting signature of the GV60.
Power up the GV60 and the glowing ball rotates. Were you wondering where the gear selector was? It is the opposite side of the Crystal Sphere.
Genesis calls it a safety feature. Since it can be tough to see the small “ready” light that usually tells you an EV is ready to drive, this positive signal takes away any doubt. See the sphere, you’re in the clear. See the shifter, it’s time to drive mister.
With the GV60 powered on and ready to drive, turning the dial lets you select reverse or drive. It also has a button for park. Once it is in gearchange mode, the selector is a wonderfully tactile experience. One of the most pleasant of all modern electronic shifters thanks to heavy use of different textures including knurling on the control.
The Car That Sees Your Coming
Forget virtual key technology. Genesis one-ups virtual key and traditional proximity keyless entry, rendering them old-fashioned with Face Connect and fingerprint authorization.
The system uses a near infra-red camera that watches you to help make sure that it’s you trying to get in. Touch the B-pillar, face the camera, and the GV60 can unlock, open, and change its settings to your stored info.SEE ALSO: 2023 Genesis GV60 Debuts as Wild-Looking EV Crossover
Face Connect can store two driver faces, adjusting head-up display, seat, steering wheel, mirror, and infotainment settings for each as the car unlocks.
Unlocking with a visual is one thing, but you won’t have to worry about a doppelganger or your evil twin borrowing your GV60 without asking.
Fingerprint authorization is required to let start the Genesis and drive away without a key present. Face Connect only lets you in. GV60 also lets you use fingerprint authorization to make in-car payments and to let you quickly disable the Valet Mode when you get your EV back from parking.
Looks Small, Is Big
It looks like a compact, but the GV60 is startlingly large. We’re talking two passengers well over six-feet sitting in the back seat with enough comfort for a full day’s driving. No, really, we tried this at the event, and were shocked at just how much room GV60 offers.
How? The E-GMP architecture used for the car houses battery packs that are just 5.1-inches tall. Mounted under the cabin floor, that’s far less under-car depth than a traditional driveshaft or exhaust system needs. It lets designers lower the seating position and get maximum headroom both front and rear while keeping a stylishly low roof height.
The design also allows for a completely flat floor front and rear to maximize the amount of space for your feet. Credit the needs of an EV platform to hold a large battery pack for the 2,900 mm wheelbase. Nearly as long as the three-row GV80, it means that cabin can offers dimensions no internal combustion model can.
It also means that if you’re the kind of driver who tosses your Tims cup on the floor that it might roll around a lot more than you’re used to. There are cubbies, so put your trash in those instead.
Attention to Detail That Makes Rolls Watch Its Back
The devil, they say, is in the details. If that’s true, then Genesis might have brushed up on its fiddle playing before the company set out to make this one.
Start with the two line headlights. The basic design has been the Genesis signature for a few years now, but the GV60’s lamps move the bar forward in appearance and have some hidden tricks up their lighting sleeves.
Each of the four lighting arrays uses five LED lamps, and each lamp is housed in an elegant clear box module. The lamp modules look wonderfully intricate from nearly any angle. Even from almost behind the car, where you can really see the shapes of each LED.
Genesis has put a focus on sustainability even with these intricate lamps by making them modular. Each individual projector can be replaced in case of damage or failure. The lamp lens can also be replaced separately, without the need to replace the housing or the lamps. The move reduces waste, helping keep plastic and electronic components out of landfill. It can also lower your repair bill in case of a failure or a crash, handy for cost of ownership down the road.SEE ALSO: 2023 Genesis GV60 is a Stylish EV You Unlock With Your Face
The Genesis attention to detail isn’t limited to those lights. Take the headliner, often overlooked and underwhelming even in six-figure luxury rides. For us, a mouse fur or cardboard headliner in a model proclaiming its a luxury car is a sure sign that there will be corner cutting in other parts, too.
GV60 comes with a suede-like material covering everything from the top of the doors to the entire headliner. Even better, it’s not actually suede.
Instead of hide, it is an eco-friendly material produced using yarns made from waste fishing gear and recycled PET plastic bottles. Keeping them out of landfill and reducing the number of virgin materials needed to build the vehicle. Innovative repurposing and recycling like this is a great way to help improve the value of waste materials, which helps boost other recycling efforts.
Other materials used in the GV60 that help improve sustainability include a seat material made using bio-extracts from grains. It is then combined with polyurethane to make a leather-like material.
We’re used to special modes from gas-powered high-performance editions like BMW M and Mercedes-AMG cars, but this is a new feature for Genesis. Offered only on Performance trim cars, engaging Boost Mode ups the fun quotient.
429 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque from the two electric motors are instantly transformed to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The GV60 can keep that up for up to 10 seconds at a time. It will let the GV60 hit 60 mph in four seconds and if you think 10 seconds of extra power isn’t enough, we challenge you to do it more than a handful of times without putting your license (and life) in peril.
Trust us, 10 seconds is plenty, at least when it comes to max power modes.
Genesis does one better than Boost Mode, though. AWD GV60 models have the ability to disconnect the front motor from the driveshaft and send power only to the rear wheels. The ability to do sick skids (closed course only, professional driver, do not attempt, please wash before leaving the bathroom) exists because a disconnected front driveshaft uses less power to turn in steady-state driving.
That’s right, drift mode is a happy little accident caused by the desire to lower electricity consumption. Combine it with the ability to turn off the traction and stability control systems and you can hang the tail out on your GV60. Are they green skids? We won’t judge.
So what’s left? To drive it. We expect to get a turn behind the wheel and a full review soon. Until then, these cool features are the ones we’re excited to spend more time with.
What’s left for Genesis? To see how many they can get. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are already tough to find. This luxury model, helping carve out the Genesis space in the market, is probably going to be almost as in-demand.
Discuss this story on our Genesis GV Forum.
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Evan moved from engineering to automotive journalism 10 years ago (it turns out cars are more interesting than fibreglass pipes), but has been following the auto industry for his entire life. Evan is an award-winning automotive writer and photographer and is the current President of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You'll find him behind his keyboard, behind the wheel, or complaining that tiny sports cars are too small for his XXXL frame.
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