The 2018 Genesis G70 is the Korean newcomer in the luxury car segment. Has it got what it takes to tackle the best in the class?

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In some ways it’s hard to give you an accurate idea of what the 2018 Genesis G70 mid-size luxury sedan will be like when it arrives in Australia – and that’s after spending a good few hours in the car at its international launch in Korea.

The problem is that the all-new Genesis G70 on test wasn’t really representative of what we'll get when the newest model – and the Genesis brand as a standalone entity – launches in Australia in the first quarter of 2018. Here's what Australian Genesis G70 customers can expect.

First off, the car was left-hand drive, which ours obviously won't be. It had all-wheel drive, and ours won't – it'll be exclusively offered in rear-wheel drive, and as you can imagine, the AWD system adds weight to the car and changes the behaviour of how it drives.

And a third factor was the cars on test in Korea had the local suspension and steering tune, which Genesis performance chief Albert Bierman (formerly of BMW M division) said was a bit soft.

“You might notice the body control is a little loose, but Koreans love this type of tuning because they deal with speed bumps every day,” Bierman said.

He also stated that, even though we’d just rolled into the impressive Inje Speedium racing circuit, the car is “not a high-performance car – this is a sporty luxury sedan”. In fact, he said it twice.

Rest assured, though, Hyundai Australia’s local tuning team has already been working on the right suspension and steering setup to suit our needs, and that’s a good thing, because – as Bierman said – the suspension setup is a little wobbly, particularly over mid-corner bumps, and it can feel a little fidgety when you think it should be a tad more settled.

All that’ll be solved, hopefully, by the local tune – and, given the team’s recent form on cars like the Hyundai i30, there’s every chance it’ll be very well sorted in terms of the ride comfort, body control and steering accuracy.

The Korean steering tune of the test vehicles still offered decent responsiveness and accuracy, but after a few laps on the track – in both an all-wheel-drive version with the same tune, and a rear-drive prototype with a US-specific setup – there’s not a heap of feel to be had through the steering wheel, and the reactiveness can be a little hard to judge at times. The AWD model exhibited a bit of understeer, too, and on this suspension setup there was a fair bit of roll to the body.

Still, though, it lived up to Bierman’s assertion that it is a sporty luxury sedan, not a performance car. And that's despite the fact a very limited stint in the rear-drive model exhibited the sort of character Aussie buyers will find appealing – it had a bit more bite, more aggro to it. It made me want to see just what the Aussie tuners will be able to do with the thing...

Source: 
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