Traditional limos are an endangered species these days, but new luxury brand Genesis isn’t put off by their dwindling popularity.
The brand has launched an electric version of the G80 sedan that has sparked the interest of rental car operators.
The petrol engine has been replaced with two electric motors and a bank of batteries arranged in an underfloor skateboard configuration, but the new car is essentially an adaptation of the original platform rather than a unique EV design from the ground up.
That means there are hangovers from the original, including a sizeable hump in the middle of the floor, less room in the rear seats, and a smaller trunk to accommodate an electric motor.
You’ll also pay more for the EV privilege.
The Electrified G80 is priced at around $156,000 for the sole dual-motor model. That makes it about $62K more than you’ll pay for the same gas-powered car. Even comparing it to the higher-powered 3.5-liter four-wheel-drive turbo model, there’s a hefty $45,000 premium for the electric drive.
That price tag also puts the G80 Electrified in the air of rarefied luxury. There are all kinds of German luxury electric SUVs out there for a similar price (an electric Porsche is about $20K more).
But few have a list of equipment as extensive as the Electrified G80. It includes tri-zone ventilation, ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, a 360-degree camera and two rear entertainment screens with controls integrated into the armrest.
Hyundai also covers servicing of the G80 for the first five years and offers the option of a home-installed charger or five years of free charging on the Chargefox network. There’s also a vehicle-to-charge feature that provides a mobile power point for everything from camping gear to computers.
Instead of a digital instrument cluster, there’s a 3D effects system that seems like a complex way to add flavor to an analog display.
There is no shortage of active safety equipment. The usual automatic emergency braking, lane keeping and blind spot warning are joined by adaptive cruise control that uses artificial intelligence to learn your driving style.
There are also solar panels on the roof to charge the 12-volt battery that powers things like the air conditioner.
While most limos provide countless opportunities to spend more, the G80 only lets you choose colors and interior trim, with a maximum of $2,000 you can add to the price.
It essentially looks like a conventional gas-powered G80, though there are some EV-style cues, including a closed grille and 19-inch wheels and bumpers that have been designed to improve aerodynamics and increase range.
The Genesis also uses more aluminum in the body to offset the weight of the battery, but it still weighs nearly 2.3 tons.
As with the exterior, the design of the cabin is more traditional than modern, although some materials have been selected for both sustainability and style. The headliner and floor mats are made from recycled plastic, and the Nappa leather is dyed with natural dyes.
While the Genesis GV60 has a futuristic cabin loaded with technology, the G80 stays true to tradition. There’s a circular gear selector and infotainment controller, while paddles on the steering wheel adjust the level of regenerative braking instead of changing gear.
However, the Electrified G80 makes an exciting statement on the road.
The engines produce 272kW and 700Nm, generating powerful straight-line thrust and effortless cruising. Full power comes on quickly, making the G80 one of the fastest full-size sedans on the road.
Sport mode offers even more immediate responses.
The G80 is also smooth and quiet, with a serenity that suits the limousine’s needs.
Suspension is tuned on the softer side, especially in Comfort mode, which plays into the G80’s sit-and-relax attitude.
The body laces better in Sport.
A forward-facing camera reads the road and prepares the adjustable shock absorbers for bumps. You’ll still feel them, but there’s less of an initial shock.
Flashes of excitement aren’t enough to justify the hefty premium charged for electrical power.
GENESIS G80 ELECTRIFIED
PRICE From around $156,000 in car
WARRANTY/SERVICE 5 years/km unlimited, free for 5 years
ENERGY Dual electric motors, 272kW and 700Nm
SAFETY 10 airbags, automatic emergency braking, blind spot and lane keeping assist, 360-degree camera, driver monitor, safe exit assist
REPLACEMENT repair kit
BOOT 354 liters
Originally published as 2022 Genesis G80 Electrified new car review