The spark of life with Genesis Motor

We head to Goodwood Festival of Speed to meet the luxury car marque bringing Korean hospitality to the world of high performance EVs

It’s going to take a considerable amount of horsepower to wrangle petrolheads away from the visceral, controlled chaos of the traditional combustion engine and convince them to embrace the inevitable rise of electric vehicles. But, at June’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, I finally catch a glimpse of a future in which this improbable scenario plays out.

Standing on tiptoes to get a better view of Goodwood’s famous Hillclimb – which sees cars of all makes and vintages thunder up the track at speed – I can hear snippets of conversation from motoring journalists and car enthusiasts alike, all eager for each successive ear-destroyingly loud run to begin.

Soon, it’s the turn of the Genesis Electrified GV70. As one of only a handful of fully electric cars on display during the Hillclimb, the GV70 is eerily silent as it shoots up the hill and out of view; the crowd hushed by the peculiar yet oddly thrilling sight of such a muscular, powerful car producing so little sonic output, despite gunning it uphill at max speed.

With a unique take on car ownership and weaving what it refers to as “Korean hospitality” into its customer service model, luxury car brand Genesis has made a rather intriguing name for itself in the electric vehicle corner of the automotive industry. Though not solely an EV manufacturer, the Korean brand, which launched in 2015 and branched out into the European market in 2021, has produced a series of electric vehicles that meld luxury with environmentalism, affording drivers the ultimate in ride comfort and design with a clean conscience.

On this blisteringly hot day, Genesis has parked its rather fetching range of cars in a fan-shaped row at Goodwood’s Orangery. Among the display is the versatile, high-performance GV60 crossover utility vehicle; the modern sedan G80 with its sleek profile; and – the pride of the bunch – the Electrified GV70, making its grand debut at the festival.

Described by the brand as having “athletic elegance”, the GV70 is an all-wheel drive compact SUV that can charge from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes using a 350kW charger. And they are no slouches on the track, either; with up to 483hp in Boost Mode, this car can go from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds – faster than the brand’s original gas-powered GV70 design.

While the unveiling of the GV70 is received with much acclaim, it is Genesis’s approach to car ownership that truly sets the brand apart from their competitors.

You don’t have to look particularly hard to see that Genesis is somewhat obsessed with the Korean concept of sonnim – which loosely translates as “hospitality” but, in reality, essentially takes the form of near-fanatic dedication to providing unrivalled customer service to Genesis owners.

The Genesis Care Plan, available to all buyers, includes scheduled servicing every 75,000km (with collection and return of the car to the owner’s door), 24/7 roadside assistance, and even a personal assistant who is always on hand should you come across any issues or have any questions. 

As the sun dips below the horizon on the GV70’s debut, Genesis’s UK director and regional operations manager, Andrew Pilkington, can barely contain his excitement as he lays out the journey he and the brand have been on up to this point.

“Last year we launched Genesis into the most competitive car market in the world: Europe, the home of premium luxury cars,” he says. “We launched not only as Genesis, but as the ‘Genesis Difference’, taking the form of a direct-to-consumer model that puts the customer at the centre of the business. We have the cars, of course, but we also have a luxury consumer experience.”

The most exciting aspect, for Andrew, appears to be the brand’s personal assistant scheme. “This person won’t come from a sales background; they’ll have come to Genesis through the hospitality and customer service sector. They’re here to help our customers through the buying and ownership processes,” he says, noting that this ties into Genesis’s philosophy of respect for the car owner. “We value our customers’ time. If you want a test drive, we’ll come to you. If you buy one of our cars, we’ll bring it to you. If your car needs a service, we’ll pick it up directly from you. And we’ll throw in a courtesy car while you wait.”

With Genesis’s third electric vehicle successfully unveiled, it begs the question: what are the brand’s aims?

“Three electric models have been launched this year, indicating that we’re well on our way to our range being fully electric,” Andrews says. “I anticipate that by 2023, 95% of our sales will be electric. We believe the variety represented by our cars offers choice in a market where options are limited. But, of course, we’re all about choice – meaning that, should you want an internal combustion engine car, we’ll continue to offer those too.”

The evening grows longer as we chat about everything from climate change to Korean custom, with the consistent soundtrack of ferocious gas-powered cars echoing from the famous Goodwood circuit. Yet here, in this secluded enclave of thee, it feels exceptionally peaceful, surrounded by orange trees, a perfectly still outdoor swimming pool and an array of electric SUVs that, if powered up, would barely raise the ambient volume of the party by a single decibel. It’s about as close to sonnim as I can hope to experience at Goodwood, courtesy of a luxury car manufacture with an eye for hospitality and a robust, dynamic vision for the future that practically radiates off those associated with the brand.

Genesis may not represent the beginning of EVs in Europe – it has entered a market saturated with stiff competition – but its unique dedication to its consumers, much like its elegantly silent cars taking on the Hillclimb, are sure to turn heads for years to come.

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