Spot the Genesis G70 alongside the Supra or Camaro and it’s easy to think that someone has parked their dad’s car in the wrong space in the midst of PCOTY 2020 testing.
Subtle is the G70’s byword, despite its stylists having been responsible for outrageous specimens like the Bentley Bentayga and Bugatti Chiron, and it looks and feels a bit out of place in the overt world of Performance Car of the Year. Get a little closer, though, and the raked stance and pumped-up hips promise more, as do its Michelin Pilot Sport 4s and sizable brakes.
The 3.3-litre 272kW/510Nm twin-turbo V6 up front and proper mechanical LSD out back promise more again, and a 4.91sec run to 100km/h (against a claim of 4.7sec) is only a whisker slower than the V8-powered Lexus and just half a second tardier than the sportier, slipperier Supra. Its 13.12sec 400m time didn’t disgrace it either.
Where it started to unravel for the G70 was around the track, where it posted the slowest time of the day. Despite the Michelins and big brakes, the G70 just couldn’t key into the track sufficiently well to generate enough lateral grip to keep mid-corner speeds high, while the sub-optimal Vmax of 220km/h, light steering and overly conservative gearbox mapping weren’t conducive to eking out a decent lap time.
On the road, the G70 was popular with us oldies; despite the hints of Hyundai in the graphics and multimedia screen, the G70 is resoundingly comfortable, serenely silent and confidently competent over a longer stretch, with broad yet supportive seats and a real eye towards a depth of quality that’s genuinely impressive.
Its localised chassis tune is in lockstep with its plentiful power delivery, but unlike the identically platformed Kia Stinger, the G70 offers a more composed, resolved balance front-to-back when things get to eight-tenths. Its retuned adaptive dampers work best in their softest mode, allowing the tyres to find more grip and the chassis to respond more naturally, suggesting that there’s more to be had from what lies beneath.
Ultimately, it is tyre grip and body-roll that bring the fun times to a natural halt – and it’s all a bit too quiet and serene for mine in this company as well.
The raw ingredients are certainly there, though, and the G70 saw off a couple of faster, more powerful cars on the strength of its balance, poise and presentation. Should Genesis ever change its mind about not mixing straight performance with its luxury leanings, the G70 is a heck of a place to start.
The best of the rest named on Performance Car of the Year 2020
2020 GENESIS G70 SPECS:
Engine: 3342cc V6, DOHC, 24v, twin-turbo
Power: 272kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 510Nm @ 1300-4500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
0-400m: 13.12sec @ 175.16km/h
The Bend lap time: 1min 40.7sec
Dylan Campbell - =6th
"Way better than I was expecting. Lovely power."
Louis Cordony - 8th
"Not the 3 Series punisher we hoped for… yet."
David Morley - 8th
"I’d daily the daylights out of this. More people need to be shopping Hyundai."
Scott Newman - 7th
"Everything that made Aussie cars great, with a Korean badge."
Tim Robson - 10th
"Polite and well-mannered to a fault. Plenty of poke, but luxury focus all too evident."
PCOTY 2020 Scoring