“What even IS that? I love it!” Charging an electric car, even at high speeds, means you have the opportunity to meet other EV drivers and occasionally have some brief conversation. John had pulled in right behind me to charge his Chevy Bolt, and had no idea what I was driving. The long, matte white sedan certainly stood out compared to everything else at this particular Electrify America station. I was driving a 2023 Genesis Electrified G80, returning home from our Pumpkin Spice road rally, and I had to agree with John – it’s a stunner.
I first experienced a Genesis G80 this summer, road-tripping up to Sayville, New York with two friends for a week on Fire Island. That G80 was powered by a 3.5 liter V6 with two turbochargers. The experience was generally sublime, but I was excited to compare the gas-powered G80 to its electric sibling and see if the car could be made even more luxurious.
Yes, it could and it is.
The Genesis Electrified G80 carries a silly name, but that’s the only silly thing about it. “Electrified,” to me, implies any sort of hybrid drivetrain and not a fully-electric model. Nonetheless, the Electrified G80 is a fully-electric variant of the brand’s midsize sedan. Gone is the V6 and its two spooly-bois, replaced by twin electric motors and an 87.2 kWh battery pack. Total output is rated at 365 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Other than the changed drivetrain, the Electrified G80 is simply… a car. It is refreshingly “normal” as electric cars go, with a few subtle styling tweaks but nothing too flashy. Many Pumpkin Spice attendees loved the normalcy, especially given just how fantastic the G80 looks no matter what’s under the hood.
Looks are a bit deceiving, though, in that Genesis didn’t use the exact same G80 body to make the Electrified model. The Electrified G80 has to share a platform with the gas-powered model, which means batteries have to go wherever they’ll fit. The floor is a bit higher, front and rear, and Genesis raised the roof by 0.2 inches to compensate. You’ll also notice the trunk floor is “stepped” as you try to slide things from the back bumper toward the back seats. Taller items will have to stay toward the back.
Inside, my test car was giving Lincoln Town Car Jack Niklaus Edition – but in a modern way. The two-tone interior paired cream seats and door panels to a dark green dash top and other accents. And the center “strip” of dash trim? It’s a “marbled veneer” made of compressed wood, left over from furniture-making. Feature-wise, the Electrified G80 is the same as the G80 Prestige, which is to say it’s loaded. Massaging seats, Lexicon audio, and plenty of driver assistance tech are the norm.
Our Pumpkin Spice rally took place outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Amish country. Needless to say, DC Fast Chargers weren’t really… a thing. Genesis claims 282 miles of range from the Electrified G80, which proved accurate and was more than enough for “normal” driving without any stress. Range comes from a mix of a low coefficient of drag (0.26) and an efficient drivetrain, which allowed an average of almost 4 miles per kilowatt-hour in highway cruising.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania is home to a bank of Electrify America chargers and a few of them support the Electrified G80’s 350 kW charging speed, which I sampled on my way in and out of town for the weekend. Interestingly, charging speeds never got past 185 kW or so, likely an issue on EA’s side. Regardless, that was still fast enough to get me from a low-ish state of charge (30 percent?) to 80 percent in about fifteen minutes.
First hopping in, I had a tough time finding a comfortable seating position. That “slightly raised floor” is up by nearly an inch in the front row and 1.5 inches in the rear. Genesis doesn’t offer any sort of sunroof here, to provide as much headroom as possible, though taller drivers may still find the fit awkward. I did manage to find a position I liked, though the gasser fit my body a bit better.
Otherwise, the Electrified G80 was a great highway cruiser. It has a ton of presence and loves to sit in the left lane at [redacted] speeds, or is just as happy in the middle lane with the cruise set at five over. The ride quality is superb, thanks to an adaptive suspension that reads the road ahead and nineteen inch wheels with some actual sidewall on the tires. At higher cruising speeds, the Electrified G80 could feel a touch floaty – resolved by choosing Sport mode if it was bothersome.
But the ride characteristics sort of fit the nature of the car, along with the massaging front seats and plenty of sound deadening that work well to separate you from the world outside. Even when my massaging driver’s seat refused to turn on after a weekend of kneading, I was still supremely comfortable.
Power is ample away from a stop or charging down an on-ramp, though you can tell the drivetrain offers more torque than horsepower in how it’s delivered. Zero to 60 comes in four seconds or so, and passing maneuvers are generally a non-event. Pedal inputs on both acceleration and braking are well-calibrated, though you won’t necessarily call the Electrified G80 “sporty.”
Handling, similarly, is composed and controlled but doesn’t encourage shenanigans. The body control is good, though you can tell the 5,038 pound sedan is nearly 600 pounds heavier than its gas-powered twin. It’s not as light on its feet or as eager to turn, though rear-wheel steering does help it feel fairly nimble on back roads. It’ll do the thing, it’s just not very playful.
So is the Electrified G80 deliver a more luxurious experience than the gas-powered G80? I’d say so, thanks to the sublime electric powertrain lurking under the beautiful yet unassuming sedan’s body. There’s more torque on tap here than in the G80 3.5T, and it’s made in total silence. Merriam Webster claims “luxury” is something that “adds to pleasure or comfort but is not absolutely necessary.” The Electrified G80 fits that definition to a tee. The fully-electric drivetrain isn’t necessary, and yet it adds to the overall enjoyment of the car.
Many EVs are strangely-shaped, the result of a desire to sell in volume (i.e. make them ‘crossovers’) and be the most slippery shape possible. Some can be called interesting, most won’t be called beautiful. The Genesis Electrified G80 is the exception – it’s a fantastic design of a less-practical-in-2022 sedan, very efficient, and tremendously nice. While not perfect, it won me over easily. Nicely done, Genesis.