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Genesis G80 Electrified Delivers the Sound of Silence
The upstart prestige brand Genesis is delivering a refined EV driving experience that belies the car’s price tag.
February 27, 2023
2023 Genesis G80 ElectrifiedGenesis Motor North America
The Hyundai group has consistently reset expectations, as the company’s brands have delivered dynamic styling, impressive technology, and cushy amenities in their vehicles at prices that make them hard to ignore in comparison to their established rivals.
The Genesis G80 Electrified is a gracious luxury sedan with a 365-horsepower all-wheel drive electric drivetrain powered by an 87.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that produces the kind of hushed motoring that would flatter the prestigious English marques whose stock-in-trade is silence.
Beneath the G80’s stylish sheet metal is next-generation electric drive technology that delivers on the EV promise of the future, but right now. That means an 800-volt architecture, which boosts efficiency for longer driving range and shorter charging times. Genesis says the G80 averages 2.7 miles per kWh when equipped with the base 19-inch wheels, which is a solid number for a full-size luxury sedan.
In my ideal conditions driving on highways with speed limits of 50 to 55 mph, the G80 showed 3.7 m/kWh. The G80’s computer forecast a 308-mile driving range on a cool, 50-degree day and the car delivered a range of 356 miles. The company says that the 350-kW DC fast-charging capability lets the G80 go from a 10 percent state of charge to 80 percent in just 22 minutes.
I didn’t go on a road trip with the car and kept topping it off on my ChargePoint Level 2 AC charger at home. Another futuristic aspect of the G80 is that it delivers on the promise of being able to power your home through a bi-directional charger. Mine isn’t, so I couldn’t test this aspect of the car, but when it does work the G80 is rated to provide 3.6 kW to the house. That’s more power than a household normally needs at once, so it should run most homes. When the car drew juice from my house, it took in power at 9.4 kW.
The aforementioned silence while driving the G80 is more than just the car’s electric drivetrain at work. Genesis employs an active noise control system that uses noise cancellation technology to hush road noise. The system debuted on the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV and works the same way in the G80 Electrified.
Other carmakers have offered active noise cancellation systems previously, but Hyundai says that this system is vastly more capable than any other mass-produced noise cancellation system. The formerly mass-produced technology called road noise control could only manage one or two peak frequencies, so its role was very much limited,” explained senior research engineer Chi-Sung Oh. “On the contrary, we can reduce the overall noise levels up to 500 Hz. It is like neutralizing all the noise throughout the area occurring at once. Before us, such a technology hadn’t been mass-produced.”
Hyundai partnered with Samsung subsidiary Harman International, the audio system manufacturer to develop the system. It uses an accelerometer to detect noise-producing jolts and sends that information to a digital signal processor. The DSP sends an out-of-phase noise-canceling sound wave from the car’s stereo speakers to quiet the noise and checks the results with microphones in the cabin to continuously minimize the road noise in the G80’s cabin. Hyundai says that road noise travels from the chassis to occupants’ ears in 0.009 seconds, but that its system can deliver an anti-noise sound wave in just 0.002 seconds, letting it zap that intruding noise.
Road noise becomes more pronounced in EVs due to the absence of engine noise, so a car like the G80 Electrified is a real test of the effectiveness of a system that suppresses road noise. In practice, the system’s performance is impressive and should worry those companies whose legacies are staked to the quietness of their cars.
Perhaps now Genesis can apply some of that engineering prowess to the G80’s driver assistance systems, which seem immature in comparison to the best such systems currently available. The adaptive cruise control system, for example, is slow to recognize slowing or stopped traffic ahead and keeps the car barreling toward plainly visible stopped cars before performing near-emergency stops to prevent the bowling ball scenario from playing out.
When the stopped cars ahead move on, the G80’s system is very slow to notice and acerates the car so gently as to infuriate trailing drivers with its student-driver trepidation. All the noise cancellation in the world won’t quiet nerves rattled by this adaptive cruise control’s driving habits.
The highway driving assist system seemed similarly overwhelmed by the task, as the car struggled to stay in the lane when rounding even some gentle curves and needed firm steering input when I should have only needed to have my hands resting on the wheel.
These are fairly trivial details that can be improved via software updates, so they barely tarnish the gloss of the G80 Electrified. With an $82,420 price tag, there are some prestigious incumbents in the luxury car market that should be worried by how much comfort, refinement, and efficiency Genesis is delivering.
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