2017 Genesis G90 Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, January 13, 2016
- Hyundai transforms the Genesis nameplate into a full-fledged luxury brand
- G90 is the flagship model, a replacement for the Hyundai Equus
- Showcases “Athletic Elegance” design language for Genesis products
- Emphasis on interior quiet, comfort, and luxury
- Twin-turbo V-6 or V-8 engine with 8-speed automatic transmission
- Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive
- “Safety without compromise” engineering and technology
- Five more Genesis models to arrive by 2022
Hyundai has determined that in order to sell luxury vehicles it needs a dedicated luxury channel. Therefore, the automaker is transforming the Genesis nameplate into a full-fledged luxury brand, starting with the 2017 model year.
As a redesigned replacement for the Hyundai Equus, the new 2017 Genesis G90 is the first of six models slated to arrive by 2022. It will serve as the flagship car in the Genesis lineup, and made its North American debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Designed to what Genesis calls an “Athletic Elegance” design theme, the new G90 is claimed to embody “the beauty of energy exploding through masterful control.”
Key elements of Genesis styling, then, include the G90’s grille design and the winged logo topping it, as well as a short front overhang, long hood, and an arching character line defining the car in profile. The result, for the G90, is an aerodynamic coefficient of drag measuring 0.27 cd.
Adaptive LED headlights will be standard on the top version of the G90, while all variants receive LED running lights, vertical LED taillights, and welcome mat approach lighting showing the Genesis logo on the ground. The G90 also features rain-sensing wipers, a wiper de-icer system, automatic windshield defogging, and a Smart Trunk feature that automatically opens the trunk within seconds of detecting the key fob within proximity of the rear of the car. The G90 can carry 15.7 cu. ft. of luggage.
If you’re looking for a variety of paint color choices, the G90 might disappoint. Genesis will offer the car in only five paint colors: white, black, brown, silver, and gray.
Genesis claims “best-in-class” noise, vibration, and harshness mitigation for the new G90. To make sure this isn’t just marketing hype, Genesis has taken multiple steps to quiet the G90’s cabin. In addition to employing generous amounts of sound-absorbing and noise-isolation materials, Genesis engineers increased carpeting and headliner thickness, specified laminated acoustic glass for every window and soundproof glass insulation for the rear windows, installed rear-seat sound blockers, and refined the car’s aerodynamics to smooth air flow around the cabin. Even the wheels are designed to reduce noise, featuring hollow 2-piece construction with integral sound absorption chambers.
To best support the G90 in its role as a flagship sedan, Genesis crafts the interior using “exclusive materials sourced from the finest artisans around the world.” Premium Nappa leather is wrapped around the seats and the dashboard, and the cabin is decorated with genuine wood trim. Seven different ambient lighting colors enhance the mood, standard power-operated rear and rear side window shades ensure privacy, and power door-closure mechanisms are available.
Comfort is also critical, so the G90’s wheelbase is stretched 4.5 inches compared to the car it replaces. A heated steering wheel is standard, along with a 22-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a 16-way power-adjustable front passenger’s seat. The front seats are heated and ventilated, but no mention is made of a massage function. Genesis equips the top G90 model with 12-way power-adjustable rear seats offering heat and ventilation.
Under the Hood
A new, twin-turbocharged, 3.3-liter V-6 engine is standard for the 2017 Genesis G90, estimated to make 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 rpm to 4,500 rpm. The top version of the G90 is equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine developing an estimated 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm.
Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that adjusts shift character and engine response based on the driver’s behavior. It feeds the power to the car’s rear wheels, and the G90 is equipped with standard 19-in. staggered-width aluminum wheels.
An all-wheel-drive system is optional, equipped with active torque control and Economy, Normal, and Sport drive settings. In Economy mode all of the engine’s power is transferred to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions. Otherwise, the power split ranges from 10:90 to 40:60 front-to-rear, depending on conditions.
For the new G90, Genesis claims a 6% improvement in structural bending rigidity compared to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This rigid architecture is expected to translate into enjoyable ride and handling characteristics, and Genesis says it honed the G90’s driving dynamics on Germany’s famous Nürburgring race circuit.
According to Genesis, the G90 was engineered to a “safety without compromise” standard. The underlying vehicle structure is comprised of 52% advanced high-strength steel and uses 650 feet of advanced structural adhesive, the automaker claims. For the G90, Genesis targeted the highest-possible crash-test ratings, with specific steps taken to ensure excellence in the small overlap frontal-impact test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In order to avoid a collision in the first place, a Genesis Smart Sense suite of active and passive driver-assistance, collision-avoidance, and safety technologies is offered for the G90. Drowsy-driver monitoring, adaptive cruise control with start/stop capability, smart blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert system, and adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam illumination are included in Genesis Smart Sense.
When the G90 arrives, it will feature a 360-degree surround-view camera, new 9.7-in. head-up display, 7-in. driver information display nestled within the instrumentation, and a carbon-dioxide sensor for the ventilation system.
Genesis also plans to equip the G90 with a 12.3-in., high-definition infotainment system, wireless device charging, and front and rear USB ports. A Lexicon premium audio system with aluminum alloy speaker grilles, 17 speakers, Clari-Fi music-reconstruction technology, and QuantumLogic surround is expected to deliver crisp, clear sound that replicates the acoustics of the track’s original recording space.
The top-shelf G90 V-8 will also come with dual 9.2-in. high-definition infotainment display monitors for rear-seat occupants.