While simultaneously presenting their Genesis luxury brand at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, the Korean manufacturer has also officially unveiled the brand’s flagship model, the ultra-luxurious G90.
Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski took center stage in Detroit saying that the G90 will instantly remind you of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class type of car, but obviously with a smaller price tag, which is sure to win over lots of potential customers.
Right off the bat, the G90 speaks to you through its powerful and refined silhouette, which grabs your attention as soon as you glance over its prominent hood, follow the lines of the car along the wheelbase and finally rest your gaze on the sophisticated rear deck surfacing. It’s no S-Class Mr. Zuchowski, but as long as the price is right, the value of the car will certainly speak for itself.
Since we already knew exactly what the car looked like, let’s dive into the what makes it tick and see how it compares to some of its rivals. The G90 is fitted with a choice of two petrol engines – where one is a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6, purring along at 365 HP, and the other one a beastly 420 HP 5.0-liter V8. The latter also has a good 376 lb-ft (509 Nm) of torque, which should help it hit various high speeds with relative ease.
If the top of the line G90 is to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds as previously reported, it would mean being around 1 second slower than a Mercedes-Benz S500 (sticking with the S-Class comparison, plus V8). But again, small price to pay as long as the price is…smaller.
Either powertrain is available with an advanced H-TRAC AWD system, which will of course give drivers more confidence under adverse conditions such as snowy and icy roads, by directing up to 40% of the available torque to the front wheels. 90% of that very same torque can be directed towards the rear axle under the H-TRAC Sport calibration, whereas Economy mode will see 100% of the torque being distributed to the rear for maximum efficiency.
In terms of safety, the Genesis G90 is expected to receive a 5-star rating (NHTSA) as well as a Top Safety Pick+ (IIHS), based on nothing but preliminary internal crash tests. The standard safety tech also sounds good, with advanced systems such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Blind Spot Detection (SBSD), Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Dynamic Bending Light headlights with High Beam Assist, and a 360-degree Multi-view Monitor. Drivers will also appreciate the Head-up Display which has been increased from 7.4 inches to 9.7 inches with enhanced illumination.
Of course, with these types of cars, safety and performance aren’t everything. You need comfort and convenience across the board in order to even put up a fight against a 7-Series, S-Class or Audi A8 – which is why the G90 features a 22-way electronically-controlled power driver’s seat, which includes power bolsters, cushion extension and shoulder adjustment. The passenger seat “only” comes with 16-way adjustment though.
In the back, the seats are adjustable electronically in 12 ways (14 ways for the rear seat position) on the V8 model, ensuring high levels of comfort. They can slide, recline, offer lumbar support, among other things – such as offer access to 9.2″ dual rear monitors which can be controlled from the rear seat Driver Information System controller.
Once inside the G90, you’ll undoubtedly notice the car’s luxurious 12.3″ high-definition display, perhaps even before you notice the seats. In order to present its occupants with an amazing acoustic experience, Genesis used a Lexicon Premium Sound System with QuantumLogic Surround sound – which means 17 speakers and a 10″ subwoofer, because you obviously can’t sell a luxury saloon without a top of the line audio system.
Perhaps one of the most impressive features of the G90 is how hard the engineers worked on its segment-leading low NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness) capability. The car comes with special sound-absorbing materials throughout the cabin, as well as specially laminated acoustic film glass on every widow – whereas road noise was minimized with the help of a specialized Helmholtz design, with hollow, two-piece wheel construction and an integral sound absorption chamber for the 19″ alloys.
Whichever way we look at it, the Genesis G90 is certainly an impressive car. Aside from looking elegant, it certainly makes the most of that ‘crest’ grille and those full-LED signature headlights, complimented by the distinctive Daytime Running Lights, which generally makes for a good first impression when viewing an incoming vehicle.
Customers looking to buy should know that the G90 is currently available in five colors, ranging from Casablanca White and Caspian Black, to Manhattan Brown, Santiago Silver and London Gray.