When setting out to rival one of the best luxury compact sedans the industry has always known, understanding the fundamental characteristics that make up it's winning formula and building on that becomes the only way to compete, especially for an underdog like Genesis. One of those characteristics has been power, beautifully executed with both a base 2.0-liter turbo four and more powerful 3.3-liter V6.
Compared to everything else offered in its segment, the 2.0T Genesis G70 is the most powerful base configuration offered, producing 255 ponies with the new and highly sought after six-speed manual transmission option. For more power, the optional twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 produces 365-hp. Yes, it still lags behind the M3 and C63 but that might change.
Whether Genesis will go head-to-head with performance divisions of German automakers it set out to from the start has yet to be seen. Genesis denounced rumors it will which might correlate to the fact this "new" G70 rides on an aging platform. Its a platform that underpins the new Kia Stinger and outgoing Genesis G80. It might be great to test the waters of sportier segments but maybe not a complete solution.
In the past, automakers like Lexus challenged those same barriers by launching a Lexus IS-F. A bold move but easier back then which might explain the lack of a successor. Genesis is still figuring out how to launch its performance line. Come time for a hot G70, hopefully, its potent enough to rival the likes of the M3.
Proof might be with the current Veloster N's success that has some correlation to the G70's future as put by Mike O’Brien (Vice President of Product Planning for Hyundai and Genesis) in a Road & Track interview:
"A big effort with the G70 was thermal management, to make sure that this car will hold up," O'Brien told us. "We're building for the future. I'll just say that."
The topic of thermal management came up when discussing the Veloster N, which was designed to withstand long lapping sessions on track. Thermal management, O'Brien says, has become an important engineering focus at Hyundai and Genesis, thanks largely to Albert Biermann, the former head of the N division who was recently promoted to R&D chief for all of Hyundai.
"We're looking at different things, as you can imagine. Whether it's GT3 or GT4 or prototypes, we're looking at all those things," he said. "It's way too early to speculate on where we're going to go, and of course, we have to think about where we want Genesis to go, where we want Hyundai to go. No decisions have been made at this point, but certainly, we need to think about it. We have two separate brands we need to build awareness and excitement around."