Newman gets behind the wheel of the classy sibling
BROTHERS FROM DIFFERENT mothers. This is the most accurate description of the relationship between the Kia Stinger GT and Genesis G70. The former has obviously just departed the MOTOR garage so it seemed only fair to compare and contrast its recently facelifted sibling by having it stay for a few months.
It takes only a cursory glance at the technical data to see the close relationship between the two cars. Both use the same 3342cc twin-turbo V6 producing 274kW at 6000rpm and 510Nm from 1300-4500rpm, tied to an eightspeed automatic with exactly the same ratios (gearbox and diff) and a limited-slip diff. The similarities continue with the chassis, with the wheel sizes (19 x 8.0-inch front; 19 x 8.5-inch rear), tyres sizes (225/40 front; 255/35 rear) and tyre type (Michelin Pilot Sport 4) all identical.
However, the two begin to diverge dimensionally. The Genesis is 145mm shorter in length and 20mm narrower with a 70mm shorter wheelbase, its slightly smaller size presumably responsible for its 28-74kg weight advantage, depending on the specification. This particular car is the range-topping 3.3T Sport with the optional Luxury Package so we’ll assume it’s towards the heavier side of the ledger, but a trip to the weighbridge could be in order to confirm. Either way, that shrunken wheelbase does result in rear seats that are on the tight side, with marginal leg room and nowhere really to put your feet.
At this point you might be thinking “yeh, yeh, if these cars are so similar, why are you bothering?” Well, whereas the Stinger GT was $63,760RRP/$66,690 driveaway, this flagship G70 asks for $85,876RRP, the Luxury Package accounting for $10,000 of that.
The extra spend includes the Forward Attention Warning safety system, 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster, head-up display (HUD), 16-way adjustable driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and rear seats, power-operated boot, 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, intelligent front lighting system, acoustic laminated windscreen and front windows, Nappa leather interior, driver’s memory seating,
suede headlining and electronic wheel adjustment.
That’s a fair whack of kit, though it’s interesting that quite a bit of it (HUD, heated wheel and wheel adjustment) is standard in the Stinger. The standard equipment list is incredibly lengthy, so let’s just concentrate on what’s new for the 2021 facelift.
An active variable exhaust extracts an extra 2kW, there’s a new Sport+ mode, the airbag count is now 10, there are heated and ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch central infotainment touchscreen, panoramic sunroof and a whole bunch of active safety gizmos like blind-spot collision avoidance, junction turning assist, safe exit warning, multi-collision braking, lane following assist, rear cross traffic alert and surround view monitor.
In terms of after sales, Genesis is attempting to cover every base, with five years complimentary scheduled servicing (though it’s only valid for 50,000km), as well as a five years/unlimited kilometre warranty, ‘Genesis-To-You’ courtesy vehicle concierge service if you live within 70km of a Genesis dealer and 24/7 roadside assistance.
We’ll get to how the G70 drives in future updates but for now I’ll cover arguably the most important aspect of the car, its interior. It’s really swish. Genesis hasn’t so much benchmarked BMW and Mercedes and Lexus as Bentley. That might sound ridiculous but there is clear evidence of British inspiration. Aside from the badge, which must be one per cent away from having Bentley’s lawyers on the phone, there’s leather-covered everything, diamond-quilted patterns on the seats and doors, and externally there’s even that little vent behind the front wheels. Is the Genesis like a Bentley? No, but by taking inspiration from it the resultant interior feels special for the money.
There are a few bits shared with the Stinger, notably the infotainment screen, dash top and centre row of buttons, and its regular vents don’t look as fancy as Kia’s circular ones, but it’s definitely a more special cabin. Of note are the new 3D dials, too, which I absolutely love. Others might be more ambivalent, and of the three styles the funky, Tron-like pale blue/green one is permanently active. So it’s a good start for the dark green Genesis, but can it continue to impress when it hits the road? Find out next month. – SN
GENESIS HASN’T SO MUCH BENCHMARKED BMW AND MERCEDES AND LEXUS AS BENTLEY