STOP! HAMMER TIME
THE TWIN-TURBO GV80 HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH GO. AND, IT TURNS OUT, PLENTY OF WOAH
TWO THINGS have become apparent this month. The first is that the Genesis is quicker and lighter on its feet that its size suggests. Watch a GV80 roll by and you could be forgiven for thinking it has the dynamic panache of a Sherman tank, but the numbers don’t lie; this heavyweight wears ballet shoes. Well, in a straight line anyway…
With some spare time up our sleeves after filming our latest Drag Race video for our sister title, MOTOR magazine (look us up on YouTube!), we decided to run the GV80 down the strip. And the figures were illuminating.
Our GV80 is the 3.5-litre petrol twin-turbo V6 with 279kW/530Nm on tap, which is the quickest variant in the three-strong GV80 range, and it knocked over the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.9sec, while the quarter took 14.1sec at 162km/h. That level of performance puts it on par with more expensive rivals from BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but there’s one discipline where the GV80 smashes its competition – braking.
Despite weighing 2.5 tonnes, NBY26G pulled up from 100km/h in 33.4 metres. To give that number context, that’s a full 3.5 metres shorter than what we’ve recorded at the same dragstrip in the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC90, and 2.5 metres
better than the BMW X5. In an emergency scenario, that amount of distance can make all the difference.
And it’s not just the petrol V6 GV80 that displays strong braking performance. All three GV80 variants showed impressive stopping power at Car of the Year and actually pulled up from 80km/h to zero in a shorter distance than a Yaris ZR hybrid on both tarmac and dirt.
The brakes themselves are big but not extraordinarily so, yet the way the GV80 washes off speed is dramatic. As is the sensation from inside the cabin as the big SUV dives heavily onto its nose and bobs for a few damper strokes once it comes to a complete stop.
My second discovery this month is that I’m coming to appreciate the little tech touches inside the cabin. The first is the blind-spot cameras, which show a live video feed of beside the car when you switch on an indicator. It’s the same trick Honda pulled almost a decade ago, except that the Honda only showed vision on the left side of the car while the Genesis shows both flanks. And the vision is shown inside the instrument cluster, not the centre screen, which allows you to retain Google Maps instructions while turning.
Some of the Wheels team dismissed this blind-spot function (the same tech is available on the Kia Sorento) as a gimmick, but I find it useful every time I drive. It’s an excellent tool to gauge how close your wheels are to the gutter while parking.
And then there’s the crisp 21-speaker Lexicon stereo. It’s part of the feature-heavy $10,000 Luxury pack (which is an option that I first thought too expensive but am now starting to see value in), and its rich sound and clarity are seriously impressive, especially when playing MC Hammer – which, given the braking performance, seems strangely appropriate. “Stop, hammer time!”