Tested: 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Bridges the EV Gap

·6 min read
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

UPDATE 7/13/22: This review has been updated with test results.

The fork in the road to the electric-vehicle revolution has purpose-built EVs on the left and converted internal-combustion platforms on the right. Genesis went left with its GV60 crossover hatchback. Now it goes right with the Electrified G80 sedan, a near clone of the 2022 G80 3.5T Sport in its paramount Prestige trim. After testing that gas-powered version earlier this year, we concluded that "the new Sport model adds a worthwhile spark to the G80's already impressive package." Sparing you the spark jokes, let's simply say it's a fine starting place for an EV.

For the electric version, the G80's M3 platform benefits from additional stiffening and lighter-weight materials, including the refashioning of some steel pieces in aluminum or carbon fiber. Lighter and stiffer are welcome words here, as the 5047-pound Electrified G80 is still 552 pounds heavier than the all-wheel-drive gas version.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

The G80's heart transplant encompasses the fitment of power electronics in the place of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 and an 87.2-kWh battery under the floor. Available exclusively in a dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration, the electric G80 has a combined output of 365 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque—an upgrade compared to the 3.5T Sport model's 375 horses and 391 pound-feet. On the road, the EV's additional torque translates to a 4.1-second run to 60 mph, which is a solid 0.6 second quicker than what the lighter gas car managed. Although the 3.5T Sport is traveling a smidge faster at the quarter-mile mark, the Electrified G80 still is 0.4 second ahead with a 12.8-second pass at 106 mph. Perhaps more relevant in the real world, the EV is the better part of a second fleeter when accelerating from both 30 to 50 and 50 to 70 mph, which take it only 2.1 and 2.8 seconds, respectively.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

Hooked to a 350-kW DC fast-charger, the battery needs a claimed 22 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 percent. Plugged into a Level 2 outlet, Genesis says, empty to full takes a little over seven hours. EPA range is not yet available, but Genesis puts that figure at 282 miles, which may be conservative considering our test car went 280 miles on our 75-mph highway test.

While the electric model's roof sits a scant 0.2 inch higher, its real identifiers are a solid crest grille embossed with diagonal lines, a lack of tailpipes, and 19-inch turbine-style wheels. There's also an exclusive color, Matira Blue, named for the coruscant turquoise waters of Bora Bora's Matira Beach. Down in front, the diagonal grille pattern camouflages the charge port door.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

Changes to interior dimensions are more pronounced. The raised floor needed to accommodate the low-slung battery reduces headroom by 0.8 inch in front and 1.5 inches in back. Genesis says the headroom constraints, as well as the bugbear of placing weight up high, is why the United States won't get the solar panoramic roof that will be offered in other markets. The G80's windswept silhouette means back-seat passengers over six feet tall will likely find their noggins meeting the headliner. Rear legroom also takes a hit, shrinking by 2.8 inches, and trunk space drops two cubic feet to 11 cubes.

Nothing's lost in the luxury department, though, as the G80's cabin remains a swell place to hum the day away. Sustainability directives show themselves in the microsuede headliner composed of recycled plastics and an under-carpet lining fashioned from nylon scraps. Seating surfaces retain their bovine provenance, but the nappa leather gets a more environmentally friendly treatment via pine-tree bark and buckwheat used in the dyeing process. Along with black and brown interiors, a two-tone Glacier White and dark green cabin will be exclusive to the Electrified G80. That latter décor also gets forged-wood trim, wherein discarded birch from furniture making gets compressed in resin to create a marbled veneer.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

With the climate control set and a moderate level of regenerative braking dialed in, we worked off 164 miles of indicated range to cover 177 road miles. Ride quality is generally good over all but the worst stretches of pavement. Thanks to camera-guided adaptive dampers and active noise cancellation, in conjunction with ample sound deadening, the Electrified G80 puts up an impressive filter to separate occupants from kerfuffle outside. At around 80 mph, though, noise from the motors can whir its way into the cabin.

Accelerator and brake pedal calibrations feel less sensitive on tip-in here than in the regular G80. Along with well-controlled body motions and standard rear-wheel steering, the electric G80 is one of the sharper tools in the executive shed for exploring serpentine, tree-lined back roads. Although the all-wheel-drive system's 50-50 front-to-rear torque split is always hooked up when driving aggressively, this sedan reverts to rear-drive during steady-state motoring in order to increase its efficiency. Rolling on staggered 19-inch Michelin Primacy Tour A/S tires, our test car posted a decent 0.90 g of grip around the skidpad and a rather lengthy 184-foot stop from 70 mph.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

The Electrified G80 hits the market later this year, with the U.S. getting a single, fully loaded trim level. Pricing starts at $80,920 and metallic and pearl paints will cost an additional $575 while matte coatings will demand an extra $1500. Like the GV60 SUV, sales will initially be limited to California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Even with that constraint, not every Genesis dealer will get the chance to showcase the Electrified G80. Interested shoppers are advised to go through Genesis's concierge program, as the brand wants buyers paired with retailers outfitted with plenty of chargers and dedicated EV service bays. With the Electrified GV70 SUV due before the end of the year, Genesis said it's rapidly working to expand its EV presence to all the 49 states where it sells cars.

As for the name, Electrified G80, it's a bit of a placeholder. The brand plans to be all-electric come 2030, at which point such descriptors won't be necessary. "Electrified" has been penciled in for now, but that could change once Genesis has a better understanding of the car's prospective buyers. For now, we'll call the electric G80 a convincing option for those who've come to the fork in the electric road.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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