You know your car is a beauty when a gaggle of primary school children start taking pictures. So it was with the sleek, new Genesis GV70 Shooting Brake, completed in fetching Havana Red paint, which I tried out this week.
Its low-slung, sporty style is a head-turner, whatever your age.
Genesis is the new premium brand from Korea’s Hyundai Group, famous for its value-for-money Kia, but now ready to take on Europe’s top carmakers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
New creation: The Genesis GV70, from the Hyundai Group, is sleek and sporty
On looks alone, this Genesis would trump the German trio. Its designer is Luc Donckerwolke, previously at Bentley.
I was driving the 2.2-litre diesel 197bhp 8-speed automatic rear-wheel drive, which accelerates to 62mph in 7.7 seconds, up to a top speed of 140mph.
It has a smart, cockpit-like interior with a well-designed dashboard — and, stocked with high-tech kit, is fun to drive. Expect clever rear-cameras that show you the blind spot when you indicate, lane-keep assist, voice-control, electric lumbar support, heated front seats, and all manner of warning signals.
Drive settings encompass frugal fuel-saving Eco as well as cruising-friendly Comfort.
Or you can opt for the more engaging Sport, which you can feel kicking in as the seat grips your sides. Meanwhile, Sport+ disengages some of the traction control safety for full driver engagement.
I stuck mainly to Comfort to glide round town and moved to Sport for more oomph on main highways and country lanes.
Will it fit in my garage? Genesis GV70 Shooting Brake
Model driven: 2.2 litre diesel rear-wheel drive Sport Line
Base price: £41,430
Price as driven: £46,530
Range priced from: £37,600
Colour: Havana Red
Length: 4685mmWidth: 1850mm
Width inc mirrors: 2086mmHeight: 1400mm
Weight: 1810kg0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
Top speed: 140mph
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive modes: Eco; Comfort; Sport; and Sport+
CO2 emissions: 182g/km
Fuel tank: 60 litres
Boot space: 403 litres
Rear seats folded flat: 1,535 litres.
Kit on my car:
- Smart cruise control with stop/start
- Blind spot avoidance
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Intelligent speed limit assist
- Forward/junction collision avoidance warning
- Driver electric lumbar support
- Electric seat adjuster
- Heated front seats
- Leatherette seat cover and dashboard
- Innovation pack
- Comfort seat pack
Other variant options:
- 2.0 litre Turbocharged petrol, Price: from £35,250
Diesel power offers low CO2 emissions of 182g/km and returns 40.7mpg. There’s a bit of diesel rattle from start-up, although that quickly disappears. Alternatively, there’s a 241bhp 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
The Genesis GV70 is not quite as big a car as it appears, being particularly snug in the rear. And it’s definitely a premium price — from £41,430 up to £46,530 with extras. But I like its sporty coupe-like lines, and the 403-litre boot expands to 1,535litres with the rear seats down.
Bentley’s all-electric plans
Bentley will launch a new electric car in each of the five years from 2025, after which all models will be pure electric.
The company spelled out its ‘Five-in Five’ plan this week as it announced a £2.5billion investment to transform its plant in Crewe into a high-tech green dream factory.
Bosses said its first fully electric car in 2025 will be ‘large, sporty and fast’ and introduce all-new body styles as part of its Beyond 100 strategy.
The future: Bentley unveiled a prototype electric sports tourer, pictured, in 2019
Bentley expects ‘massive expansion’ far beyond the present 10,000 cars a year. The 4,000-strong workforce will learn new high-tech skills needed for cars with greater autonomy.
The shift began in its centenary year, 2019, when a prototype electric sports tourer, pictured, was unveiled.
Boss Adrian Hallmark dubbed the plans the ‘biggest transformation in Bentley’s history’.
Electric vehicles boost struggling UK car production
Record electric car production and £4.9billion of new investment provided a welcome glimmer of light as overall UK car production last year fell to its lowest level since the Suez Crisis of 1956.
Total production fell 6.7 per cent to 859,575 vehicles, official figures showed. The pandemic, a global shortage of vital microchips, and the closure of Honda’s Swindon factory were blamed.
Compact: The Suez Crisis led to a fuel shortage that boosted demand for small, fuel-efficient cars such as the BMW Isetta (pictured) and Messerschmitt ‘bubble’ cars
However, UK factories turned out 224,011 ‘electrified’ zero and ultra-low emission vehicles — comprising fully electric models, plug-in and self-charging hybrids. This was a record rise of 29.6 per cent, accounting for more than one in four of all cars made, with fully-electric cars up 72 per cent.
Interestingly, the Suez Crisis led to a fuel shortage that boosted demand for small, fuel-efficient cars such as the BMW Isetta and Messerschmitt ‘bubble’ cars.
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