Here’s the reality: in Europe, premium saloon drivers nearly always buy German.
They’re also among the least likely of any cohort to switch brands, and if they do, they go to another German marque. These conditions are the rocks against which the ambitions of Cadillac, Chrysler, Infiniti, Lexus and even Alfa Romeo and Jaguar have been dashed, with some worthy cars going unloved over the years.
The new Genesis G70 won’t shake things up either, but in the SUV era, you have to welcome the arrival of any new three-box saloon, especially one with some slick design cues, sensible dimensions, rear-wheel drive and sporting undertones. Which is exactly what we have herein the G70, right down to the racey Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres.
Genesis Europe has some big names involved at present, including chief engineer Tyrone Johnson (who has the last Ford Focus RS on his resumé), chief creative officer Luc Donckerwolke (who is responsible for the Lamborghini Murciélago and Bentley’s still-breathtaking EXP 10 Speed 6 concept) and research-and-development boss Albert Biermann (who oversaw some of the greatest BMW M3s and M5s ever built).
Biermann’s official title is head of the R&D division at Hyundai Motor Group, from which Genesis was born in 2015. The young brand exists as the luxury spearhead of the Korean conglomerate and has arrived in Europe this year not only with the BMW 5 Series-size G80 saloon and its GV80 SUV twin but also with this new BMW 3 Series-size G70 saloon, whose GV70 SUV counterpart we’ve already driven and quite liked.