YOU need to be brave to launch a new car during a world-wide pandemic and you need to be very brave indeed to launch a whole new brand but that is exactly what Genesis did in Europe in 2021.

Not only did they succeed but the Korean car maker then went on to introduce several models all pitched at the hard fought luxury end of the new car market.

However, this is not quite as risky an enterprise as you may think because behind Genesis are car giants Hyundai who are looking to establish their own luxury brand as Toyota did with Lexus and Citroen with DS.

Those awfully nice Genesis people invited yours truly, along with a number of other northern motoring journalists, to try out a range of their impressive cars from the sporty petrol powered G80 saloon to their very latest release, the AWD GV70 electric SUV.

Now the cars tested ranged in price from £49,450 up to £78,090 so you would expect performance, luxury and loads of standard equipment and that I just what I got behind the wheel of the GV70 (pictured).

With twin electric motors performance is stunning – 0 to 62 in just 4.2 seconds and an eye watering top speed of 235mph. Despite this the all-important full charge range is between 283 and 367 miles depending on the driving conditions so no need for range anxiety here.

And there are options on the charge time – just 18 minutes on an ultra-fast 350Kv system and 7 hours 20 minutes on a three phase home charger… although if you only have a domestic three pin outlet then that can take up to 34 hours.

There are 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol or 2.2-litre diesel versions, both with four cylinders and starting from a shade under £40k, but it is the twin motor electric version which is their latest model.

Luxury is the watchword here with premium finishes and materials in the inside and an extensive list of standard kit including power tailgate, smart cruise control, sat nav and DAB radio plus car info via two big dashboard screens (an 8” TFT driving display and 14.5” central infotainment touchscreen).

Our test car was loaded with £13,000 worth of extras on top of the base price of £63,600 including nappa leather heated and cooled power seats, special audio equipment and even a fingerprint recognition system!

It has to be said the levels of luxury are up with the best giving an almost Bentley like feel to your driving experience.

No less luxurious were the GV 60 and G80 models I also go to try out, the former having just one electric motor and so is only two wheel drive but can still hit 62mph in 7.8 seconds and go on to a top speed of 115 with a claimed range of up to 429 miles.

While the petrol powered G80 is a sporty saloon that can do 155mph and 0 to 62 in 6 seconds still with that luxury feel – one particularly eye catching feature is a central ‘crystal ball’ which flips over on start up to reveal the gear selector.

After just a taste of what Genesis has to offer it was clear that they will be a force to be reckoned with here in the UK and other premium brand manufacturers may just need to up their game.

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By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth