The version of the Genesis G70 that will be sold on the automaker’s home peninsula, and found it to be a compelling alternative to the likes of the the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. I got my first crack at the car in its North American production form this month in the southeastern hills of Maine. That means this version has been tuned for a country with fewer speedbumps and more enthusiast drivers, and provides an opportunity to dig a little deeper into what the G70 means for the brand at home and abroad.
For the U.S. we get a pair of powerplant options in the G70, both using turbocharging and direct injection. The budget option is a 2.0-liter inline-four good for 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque when paired to the eight-speed automatic. The rear-drive I4 is also available with a six-speed manual transmission, and equipped as such, it offers a few extra horsepower for a total of 255.
The performance option is a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, paired solely to an eight-speed auto, providing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, the latter offered from low in the rev range. It can propel the car from 0-60 miles per hour in a swift 4.5 seconds when using launch control. I spent most of my time in rear-wheel-drive versions, but the all-wheel-drive car can also shift up to 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels under the right conditions when set in Sport mode with stability control off.
This is an unmistakably athletic car, and is effortlessly quick and smooth on the road. On the track, the G70 is quick, but challenges you to concentrate hard to learn its behaviors before you can truly be consistent. It’s not one of those cars that you can master in a day, which perhaps makes it even more compelling to own, so you can spend time unlocking the secrets to its strengths.
After spending quality time behind the wheel, I’m absolutely convinced the G70 has what it takes in terms of quality, design, performance and comfort to stand up to its competition. What needs to happen now is for the car to get support from the brand cachet Genesis is trying to build. It’s a long play, but the G70 is a shining example of what the company can do.