What is it?
Set to go on sale in South Korea and North America in early 2018, the new G70 is a sister model to the new Kia Stinger and is the third dedicated Genesis model after the larger G80 and G90. The G70 and Stinger share a platform, which uses a longitudinally mounted engine and offers the choice of front or rear-wheel drive.
While the saloon will not come to the UK in the short term, Genesis confirms a strategy is in place to introduce the G70 to European markets by the end of the decade, by which time it also plans to introduce up to three SUV models as part of a six-strong global line-up.
At 4685mm in length, 1850mm in width and 1400mm in height, the G70 is 61mm longer, 39mm wider and 31mm lower than the 3 Series saloon – a car that Genesis chairman Manfred Fitzgerald said has played a decisive role in its development.
We’ll leave you to decide whether you like the look of the upmarket Hyundai brand’s latest model. But the G70 does boast better proportions than many recent executive-class saloons: a long bonnet and backwards sweep to the cabin emphasise its rear-wheel-drive layout, while wide tracks and a long wheelbase provide it with a satisfying stance and suitably short overhangs. To our eyes, its best angle is the rear three-quarter view, with a muscular rear fender providing a purposeful appearance.
The G70 will offer three turbocharged engines in combination with either standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, including a headlining 3.3-litre V6 petrol unit delivering 365bhp and 383lb ft of torque. This endows the range-topping model with 44bhp and 51lb ft more than the turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine used by the 340i.
There’s also a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 252bhp and 265lb ft in standard guise and a more powerful 255bhp with the same 265lb ft when combined with an optional Sport Package. With an eye on Europe, the G70 also gets a 2.2-litre four-cylinder common rail diesel with 202bhp and 332lb ft.
The V6 engine in the G70 AWD driven here has a sporting edge that will be appreciated by enthusiasts. There is plenty of torque concentrated down low and a free-revving nature to its delivery means it can be worked hard without any undue harshness. The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, on the other hand, is a little slow to react both in automatic and manual modes, even if the actual shifts are quite smooth.
It is not meant to be an out-and-out performance saloon. However, the initial top-of-the-line G70 AWD’s claimed 0-62mph time of 4.7sec is quicker than the time quoted for the 340i xDrive. It also tops its German rival on top speed at 168mph versus a limited 155mph. Fuel consumption is a disappointment, though: the Genesis returns 25.5mpg against an impressive 40.9mpg for the BMW.