Genesis GV60 displays impressive technology, luxury, and even boost and drift driving modes

The new Genesis GV60 is a compact crossover related to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, with all three vehicles riding on Hyundai Motor Group's E-GMP dedicated EV platform. However, after seeing it in person at a studio in Orange County, Calif. and finding out some more feature details it’s clear that the luxurious small SUV can stand firmly on its own.

Genesis is holding back powertrain details until closer to the market launch, but we already have some clues based on what we know about the Hyundai/Kia. The platform has been designed with an 800-volt electrical system and in the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 offers a maximum battery capacity of 77.4 kilowatt-hours, enough for a range approaching 300 miles. The battery has been designed so that 70 miles of range can be added in less than five minutes using a high-speed charger. Going from a 10% charge to 80% can be done in as little as 18 minutes, and Genesis says that 60 miles of range can be added in just five minutes.

Single and dual-motor configurations should be available in the GV60. In the Ioniq 5, output of the dual-motor setup maxes out at 302 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. However, the EV6 has a GT grade with 576 hp and 546 lb-ft on tap. This output delivers a 0-60 mph time of less than 3.5 seconds.

What we do know now is that the Genesis will offer something the other two vehicles don’t have: a Boost button on the steering wheel (finished in neon yellow that matches the stitching) and a hidden drift mode. Boost mode will temporarily add an additional 180 kw of output to the powertrain for greater acceleration. Drift mode is still a bit of a mystery, it’s activated by pulling back on the right paddle shifter for three seconds and it will loosen up the traction control for a bit of sideways fun “under certain conditions,” but Genesis didn’t elaborate on what those conditions were.

The GV60 features a fastback design first previewed by the Mint concept unveiled at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. While all the contemporary Genesis design cues are there, Genesis has made elements more dynamic to emphasize the performance attributes of the vehicle. For instance, the crest grille is wider than on other Genesis vehicles and has active grille shutters that open up to cool the battery when needed. Genesis has also added a clamshell hood for the first time on one of its vehicles, plus a rear ducktail spoiler that also integrates the brake light.

Inside, Genesis’ impressive touch with interiors continues. Materials and layout are top notch and the GV60 has a surprisingly roomy interior for a vehicle without that large of a footprint. Genesis didn’t provide exact dimensions, only offering up that the GV60 is shorter than the GV70 but has more passenger volume. The back seat also feels larger in both head room and leg room than the larger SUV, with a panoramic glass roof that makes the whole cabin feel airy.

Up front, side-by-side screens with matching dark colored themes power the instrument cluster and the multimedia system, which will be familiar to the one found in other Genesis products. The interior’s showpiece is a glowing crystal sphere that shows up when the vehicle is turned off and flips over when the GV60 is turned on to reveal the gear shift.

You will also be able to unlock and even drive the GV60 without a key. It has a “face connect” system that uses facial recognition via a camera hidden in the B-pillar to unlock the vehicle, and it can then be started via a fingerprint scanner located at the front of the center console. For those who like to go running or surfing, this means you won’t have to carry a phone or key fob to get back into the car.

Genesis said the GV60 marks the brand's next step toward electrification and we'll see it at dealerships sometime in 2022, though it will launch in Korea first this year. Up next is an electric version of the G80 mid-size sedan. The electric G80 is also due on sale in the U.S., though its due date won't be confirmed until later this year.

Genesis is also working on electric versions of the small GV70 and mid-size GV80 crossovers, with the electric GV70 expected to start production in December.