When a car company plans to build an all-new electric vehicle, they can go about it in one of two ways: Start with a clean slate and design a vehicle from the ground up, or take an existing gasoline vehicle in their lineup and convert it into an EV. In the case of the Genesis G80—already a stellar sedan—the company decided to go with the latter, removing its internal combustion engine and replacing it with two electric motors (one to power the front set of wheels and one to power the rear) and a whole lot of batteries. But does switching to electric make the G80 even better? In a word—yes. Yes it does!
Although it may sound relatively simple, going from gasoline to electric propulsion is fairly complicated. The hardest part is packaging: taking out an engine in the front of the car and then adding electric motors and a large battery pack takes some creativity—and the result isn’t always going to be perfectly ideal. For example, the electrified version of the G80 has slightly less interior volume and reduced trunk space due to the placement of the batteries; you would probably never notice it unless you saw both cars side by side, but, nevertheless, the difference is there. The next hurdle? Chassis dynamics. Not only do the EV batteries make the Electrified G80 heavier than its gas-powered counterpart, that extra weight is housed in different areas of the car. Everything from the suspension to the steering to the brakes and tires has to be recalibrated and tuned. But, it is within these subtle changes that the superior driving experience of the Electrified G80 emerges.
Making 365 horsepower, the Electrified G80 is actually 10 horsepower less than its 375 horsepower, 3.5L Twin Turbo V6 gasoline brother. But it is the torque—that “get-up-and-go” feeling of power, that leaves a more lasting impression. While the gasoline V6 puts up a healthy 391 lb-ft, it’s no match against the Electrified’s immense 516 lb-ft of torque, capable of a 0-60mph launch in just 4.1 seconds. The ride in the Electrified G80 is luxury car-smooth: the suspension does a masterful job at soaking up bumps—you are aware of the bumps in the road; you just don’t really feel them. With no engine noise the drive is whisper-quiet, almost peaceful with only a little wind noise slipping through the glass. Steering feel is a touch numb, but inputs are quick and precise thanks to its standard rear-wheel-steering system. Overall, the car is very comfortable and has a relaxed vibe about the way it goes down the road—you could drive for hours and hours.
Inside materials are top-notch—it’s as though Genesis told its designers to first come up with something beautiful and don’t worry about the cost. The wood and leather tones, the metal controls, and the organic flow of the dashboard into the doors all come together to greet the driver and passengers with an aura of luxury. The outside design is equally as impressive, featuring a balance of curves and creases that combine to form a familiar, yet distinguished shape. Call it “understated elegance” where there is enough style to stand out without demanding too much attention.
With a range capable of 282 miles, the Electrified G80 uses the latest 800-volt EV architecture, giving it the quickest charging times currently available. When using a 350kW DC ultra-fast charger, the battery can charge from 10% to 80% in just 22 minutes. Unfortunately, there are very few 350kW chargers available on the roads today, but that is changing as more and more charging stations are being added. Pricing for the Genesis Electrified G80 starts with the “Advance” package at $75,625 (including destination) and has just about every feature you can think of. The optional $4,750 “Prestige” package adds even more goodies including upgraded Nappa leather, 3-zone climate control, power rear sunshade, and a stunning 12.3” 3D full digital instrument display.
With the continued dominance of the SUV finding its way into more and more American garages each year, it’s refreshing to see that Genesis still has faith in the car—enough faith that they doubled down and turned that same car into an EV. Setting aside the few visual differences between the EV and the gasoline G80, both versions are excellent all-around cars; but, if you’re looking for that pure luxury vehicle experience, one drive in the Genesis Electrified G80 will tell you all you need to know—it’s simply the better car.