Cosseting is good, right? Being cosseted, coddled and caressed in the back seat of the new Genesis G90 flagship, is right up there with a day at a Canyon Ranch spa. Minus the hot mud treatment, naturally. It messes-up the leather.
But with the seat-back reclined to near horizontal, the biz-jet-style footrest raised up, and the seat massager cranked up to full Helga, the term hedonistic comes to mind.
Want a little soothing Sade “Smooth Operator” to help send you to slumberland? Fire-up the 26-speaker Bowers & Wilkins 3D surround sound, and maybe select one of the three in-cabin fragrances – I’m quite partial to the “The Great Outdoors” aroma myself – to complete the mood.
It’s not just the rear seats that are relaxing. This latest G90 rides on a cushion of air springs, and features cameras that read the road ahead to prepare the suspension for any lumps and bumps in the road. Riding on clouds of fluffy cumulus couldn’t be softer.
This is Hyundai-owned Genesis wanting a piece of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 action. No, it doesn’t have the heritage and long lineage of luxury offered by the Germans. But it comes with a single-minded approach to offering those aboard the very best of the best.
Genesis is a lot like Lexus back in ’89 when it debuted the ground-breaking LS400 sedan. Back then, Lexus was just a newbie division of Toyota. Yet it completely disrupted the luxury car industry. That’s how I see Genesis with the G90; the Disrupter.
It certain has the looks. Genesis does big grilles well, and the shiny, shield-like whopper on the G90 will spin heads faster than a Beyoncé sighting at Bergdorfs. It’s complimented by wafer-thin split headlights encrusted with teeny LEDs that, together with the grille, resemble the Genesis logo. Clever.
For the driver, it’s all about old-school intuition. There’s no insanely-complex touch-screen, no annoying warning-beep technology that’s the norm with any new Mercedes these days. The Genesis is more about ease of use, and less about needing a degree in computer-science just to program the nav system.
Convenience too. Want to open or close a door? Just press a button either on the center console or the door itself and it powers either way. If you’re behind the wheel, simply press on the brake pedal to close.
One more example of this near-obsessive focus on calm is the speaker in the driver’s headrest. Tap the turn signal, and instead of everyone hearing that annoying click-clock, only the driver hears it. Same with navigation commands.
So how does this new G90 drive? One word; sublime. Under that sprawling hood sits a new version of Genesis’ proven 3.5-liter turbo V6 that gets the addition of an electric supercharger. The thinking here is that when you step on the gas it takes a few milli-seconds for the turbocharger to deliver boost. With an electric-driven supercharger, you get instant low-speed torque before the turbos kick-in.
Packing a healthy 409-horsepower with 405 lb-ft of torque, and coupled to a 10-speed automatic seemingly spinning in Teflon, the V6 can launch the G90 from standstill to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds.
While all this is the epitome of smoothness and refinement, sadly it’s not electric, which is the new benchmark of ultimate refinement.
Interestingly, Genesis offers a terrific electrified G80 – kid brother to the 90 – with a 282-mile range, 365-horsepower and more thrust than a Saturn rocket. Yet, for now, there are no plans for offer the powerpack in the flagship G.
Nevertheless, this fossil-fueled G90 is still a dream to drive. It steers with precision with the helm having just the right amount of feel; body roll through curves is well-contained; and the ride comfort with those air springs, is just other-worldy.
G90 pricing starts at $89,495 for the 3.5T AWD, with the coveted 3.5T E-Supercharger version, like our test car, stickering for $99,795 with few options to be had. It’s loaded.
No, it still doesn’t quite offer the prestige and curb appeal of a Mercedes S500 – nor the price tag. But if you dare to be different, dare to disrupt, this remarkable Genesis won’t disappoint.