Out in the mountains, I discovered that the great ride quality around town does come at a penalty to outright handling prowess. The G70 can definitely hustle down a good road, but there’s enough dive, squat, and roll even in Sport+ mode to necessitate a bit of extra preparation time to get set up for the next corner. Dial your expectations to approximate the Mercedes-AMG 43 line or the M Performance BMW models, rather than their full-blooded counterparts, and the G70 hits the mark.
Tracking the 2022 Genesis G70
The G70 wasn’t born to be a track weapon, but Genesis nonetheless chose not to pull any punches in showcasing its performance capability, setting me loose on The Thermal Club’s private road course with a timed autocross at my disposal between lapping sessions as well.
All the G70s for these exercises were RWD 3.3Ts wearing the optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires, while that Launch Edition model I drove on the street had the all-wheel-drive system and rode on Michelin Primacy Tour all-seasons. AWD G70s score torque vectoring and a “drift mode” (the latter of which, as far as I can tell, is just a long press of the traction control button in Sport+ mode) but since we only drove AWD models on the street, I didn’t have a chance to experience either feature in action.
The G70’s track prowess is a mixed bag. I’m 6’3, and with a helmet on there was no way to find in a seating position that was low enough to provide enough headroom without feeling like I was laying on my back. While that’s par for the course in a Lamborghini Aventador, it’s less forgivable in a sports sedan. The suspension tuning is also a bit too soft, the transmission a bit too lazy, and the Pilot Sport 4 a bit too light on grip to really be surgical with the car. But to their credit, I piloted several different G70s for five or six laps at a time over the course of a few hours in 105-degree desert heat, and none of the cars showed any signs of distress.
Track pace generally necessitates the use of the Sport+ drive mode, and in this setting, leaving the transmission in Drive was good enough most of the time. There were a few slow corners on the course where I wanted the transmission to drop down to second gear so I could roll back on the throttle with a decent amount of pull from the powertrain on corner exit, but it refused to do so on its own unless I buried the pedal, which would kick the back end out if there was any significant amount of steering angle still dialed in. Sport+ allows for more rotation than you’d initially expect, which is fun, but collecting the car costs time and pace, and system’s eventual intervention is less than seamless.
To correct this I decided to switch over to the shift paddles for a few sessions to make those gear changes myself. Genesis pointed out that when using the paddles in Sport+ mode, the transmission will hold gears indefinitely and bounce off of the rev limiter if you reach it without upshifting. That was not my experience with the car—even though the gauge cluster indicated that I was in paddle shifting mode by displaying the number of the gear I was in rather than D, the gearbox automatically upshifted each and every time I reached the redline, which is annoying when you’re using the paddles because it makes it very easy to accidentally step up two gears instead of one.
Now, I can say for certain that I used Sport+ on the track, and that I also used the paddles on the track, but I can’t guarantee that both circumstances were met during the same session. Given that, I’ll just say that the gear-holding feature should have its own button, or be activated by moving the gear lever off-center—as nearly every other automaker does it—in order to prevent potential issues like this.
The G70’s capability shined a little brighter on the autocross course, where the fluctuations in pace were too abrupt to bother with the paddles and the suspension tuning was better suited to the speeds. While the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 provided enough grip to have plenty of fun here, understeer was an ongoing concern when tossing the car into tighter corners, and it’s worth noting that the Pilot Sport 4S summer tire is available in the same sizes as these OE tires (225/40R19 and 235/35R19, front and rear respectively). Though both are classified as summer tires, the 4S is fundamentally more performance-focused, and would likely make this car a more capable dry handler with negligible hits to ride quality and wet handling. Just some food for thought when perusing through the options sheet.