The full-size luxury sedan market is just a fraction of what it used to be, and that's a shame. Genesis, though, hasn't given up on that segment at all, and the Electrified G80 is proof of that. It also happens to be a hell of a car.
We'll start with the heart of the Electrified G80, its electrical bits. Genesis built the car with a pair of electric motors, each one making 182 and a half horses for a total of 365, along with a total of 516 lb-ft of torque. It's more than enough to make this big sedan move like a small one, though it's good to remember you don't get all of the power if you're in eco mode.
Under the floor is a battery with an 87.2 kWh capacity, and if that sounds a little low by luxury car standards, Genesis says it has an estimated range of 454 km. More on that range and its efficiency later.
A 400V/800V charging system lets the Electrified G80 charge up at seriously high speeds. Up to 350 kW, meaning it can top up the battery from 10 to 80 percent in under 22 minutes to get you back on the road quickly.
The Electrified G80, like many current EVs, is somewhat of a compromise. Unlike the GV60, which is built on a platform made specifically to take advantage of the packaging and power efficiencies electric vehicles can offer, the G80 is the gas car with the engine removed.
That compromise can mean an EV conversion is less efficient, taking more power to drive every kilometre.
Genesis has somehow managed to sidestep that. The Electrified G80 has an official estimate of 19.1 kWh/100 km on the WLTP cycle. That test is usually more generous than Canada's figures, thanks to lower speeds and some other differences.
In my drive, which included heavy use of the heater and defroster, heated seats, and highway speed limits of 110 km/h near hilly North Bay, ON, I saw 15.9 kWh/100 km. On a slower section of driving without the power-sucking accessories on, the car got 14.5. Both figures beat the GV60 that was along for the drive. They're also better than any EV currently on sale in Canada is rated to achieve.
In short, I was astounded.
Are there some sacrifices to get this level of efficiency? Sure. There's no panoramic moonroof offered on the Prestige trim, the only way to spec this electric. That's fine, it adds much-needed front headroom. You'll lose some trunk space as well, with around 354L instead of the 424L the gas-model offers.
Most of the trunk floor is the same, but the third closest to the rear seatbacks has a higher floor to make way for the power equipment. There is still a pass-through, though, if you're planning to take your large luxury sedan to Home Hardware and bring home some lumber.
On the outside, this is the standard G80 in all of its glory. We love the Genesis design language with the double-stack LED head and tail lights with sleek curves. It's just right for a big luxury car, wearing the lines well.
Genesis has filled in the grille for the Electrified G80; all that empty space for cooling air isn't needed. The charge door is in the new grille, which we love for easy access when compared with a fender location. The door itself matches the look of the diamonds in the grille treatment, and it's a neat effect compared with the square or rectangular door you normally see.
With just one trim level, Genesis has given the Electrified G80 the kitchen sink. Surround-view camera is standard, forward collision avoidance, lane keeping, reverse cross traffic assist, Highway Drive Assist, and remote Smart Parking that can drive the empty car forward and backward into and out of a space.
The cabin is the same as the one you'll find in the standard G80, and like its gas sibling, it reaches levels of luxury approached only by Mercedes-Benz in this segment. With the electrified model you'll get eco-friendly cabin materials including Nappa leather that's tanned with natural dyes and wood accents that come from the leftovers of making furniture.
In the dashboard is a 12.3-inch digital cluster with an EV-specific interface. It uses 3D technology to create the effect of depth inside the cluster. If that's not for you (it wasn't for me), it's quick and easy to turn the effect off and watch a crisp 2D panel.
Infotainment is handled by a 14.5-inch widescreen that includes navigation. With an interface similar to other Hyundai Group models, the system lets you have multiple displays on the screen at the same time, including pairing Android Auto with charging and efficiency data.
My drive route was not picked for driver engagement, rather it was the only route that would take you from Sudbury back to Toronto. My apologies to anyone who loves the beauty of the Gateway to Northern Ontario, but the roads are flat, long, straight, and - especially on this foggy day - dull.
Roads like this are more of a challenge for a vehicle than a racetrack for the latest sports car. Every vehicle can be fun on the track, not many can turn punishing highway miles into something tolerable.
The Electrified G80 is one of those that can.
Road Active Noise Control is a Genesis technology that can cancel out tire and suspension noise - some of the only noises left in an EV - using microphones and technology much like the best noise-cancelling headphones. In short, it works. The Electrified G80 was extremely quiet on these long stretches of highway. At least when I didn't have the Lexicon audio system turned up to levels that probably started to cut into range.
While many lane-centreing systems have you pinballing from edge to edge in your lane, HDA responds more naturally to keep you centred the way a real driver would. It helps reduce the burden of driving, and while you still need to be eyes and hands-on at all times, it's less taxing than driving without the system.
The seats, though, are the real killer app. Sure the rear seat is limo levels of spacious, but the driver's seat offers something nobody else does.
The Ergo Motion seat uses small air bladders inside than can adjust pressures on multiple points of your body. Unlike typical massage seats, which pretend to knead and pummel your backside, the Genesis seat adjustments are almost unnoticeable. They happen slowly, over time, making your hours-long drive vastly more comfortable. Jumping from the G80 into other vehicles in the same day made this exceptionally apparent. There are more "active" modes, but the default was ideal.
I find myself glowing over this car, working to reel myself back in. The Genesis G80 was already an excellent large luxury sedan, but it was an anachronism as buyers are streaming away from large luxury sedans to larger luxury SUVs. Adding electric power has made the G80 even better as a luxury sedan, quieter and more powerful. It has also made it much more relevant, pushing back fiercely against the inefficiency of the gas-powered SUV by giving you an experience they can't match.
2023 Genesis Electrified G80
: dual electric motors ; Power: 365 hp ; Torque: 516 lb-ft
: Single speed direct drive
: 454L behind rear seats
NRCan Estimate: NA ; Observed 15 kWh/100 km