CARS

The Volvo XC40 de­liv­ers a best-in­class in­te­rior. Plus: the Gen­e­sis G70, the Kia Stinger, Range Rover SVR, Maserati Le­vante, Audi Q8 and much more.

Sharp Magazine Middle East (English) - - Contents - BY JEREMY FREED

The crowd is some 15,000 deep at Seoul’s Olympic Park as CL prances across the stage in torn jeans and high-tops. “I got my­self a 40,” she raps. “I got my­self a shorty, and I’m about to go get lifted...” The K-pop star kicks, twerks, and bounces through her hit song “Lifted” as the crowd waves their hands in the air and raps along to the cho­rus. She didn’t write th­ese lyrics — Method Man did some 25 years ago — but if any­one here knows this, they don’t seem to care. Seoul is CL’S turf and, judg­ing by the 25 mil­lion views on the “Lifted” Youtube video, plenty of peo­ple like what she’s do­ing.

Gen­e­sis has staged this mega-con­cert on its home turf in Korea to prove a point: any­thing you can do, we can do bet­ter. Or at least make weirdly, won­der­fully dif­fer­ent. This was the idea when Gen­e­sis launched two years ago with big lux­ury sedans aimed squarely at Mercedes Benz–buy­ing North Amer­i­cans look­ing for a bar­gain. Its lat­est model, the G70 com­pact sport sedan, takes Gen­e­sis into the core of the lux­ury mar­ket. De­signed to go up against BMW’S 3 Series, Audi’s A4, and Mercedes’ C- Class, it’s an au­da­cious un­der­tak­ing. But if Korean gang­ster rap can be a thing, why not a Korean lux­ury sport sedan, too?

The fol­low­ing morn­ing, in the densely forested coun­try­side out­side of Seoul, the G70 proves it­self a wor­thy ad­ver­sary for wind­ing moun­tain roads. With its taut chas­sis and pre­cise steer­ing, it em­pha­sizes the sporty bit of the sport sedan for­mula. The top-of-therange model is pow­ered by a 3.3-litre twin-tur­bocharged V6 good for 365 horse­power and equipped with all-wheel drive.

While the rev-happy en­gine pro­vides am­ple per­for­mance, like most of its sport sedan brethren, this car will spend its life cruis­ing high­ways and sit­ting in traf­fic, and niceties like quilted leather seats and a crisp touch­screen make it a com­fort­able place to do so. While it lacks some of the poise and as­sured­ness of those stal­wart Ger­man ma­chines, the G70 oth­er­wise of­fers a solid ar­gu­ment in its own favour — a per­for­mance-ori­ented ju­nior ex­ec­u­tive ride at what will likely be a very com­pet­i­tive price.

Be­fore the Olympic Park con­cert, we’d toured Hyundai’s R&D cen­tre, a sprawl­ing fa­cil­ity of blank, tow­er­ing build­ings and high fences. As we en­tered the gates, men with ear­pieces boarded the bus, plac­ing stick­ers over our phone cam­eras and in­struct­ing us to draw the cur­tains over our win­dows. Some­where nearby, no doubt, was a hangar full of Audis, Ben­zes, and BMWS, each of which had been taken apart, put back to­gether and ex­am­ined in ex­cru­ci­at­ing de­tail. Like CL’S per­for­mance, the G70 is a care­fully stud­ied, painstak­ingly ex­e­cuted take on an ex­ist­ing form. Un­like Korean gang­ster rap, how­ever, we ex­pect this one to catch on over here.

SPECS EN­GINE 3.3-LITRE TWIN-TURBO V6 SU­PER CARS

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