Considering how the popularity of crossover vehicles resulted in the industry-wide genocide of passenger cars, it is both strange and exciting to discuss a new sedan. While we haven’t reached the point where one could describe the situation as a blending of Children of Men and Disney’s Cars franchise, new models with a low center of gravity are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.
That’s why we’re glad Hyundai’s luxury Genesis division built the G70 and saw fit to allow the ability to option it with a manual transmission. You read that correctly; there is an automaker that builds a competitively priced luxury sedan that can be had with a manual transmission. However, buyers need to actually purchase these vehicles for the brand to rationalize that decision in the years to come.
The idea already looks to be on rather thin ice. Despite sharing a platform with the G70, Kia’s Stinger lacks the manual option for reasons unknown to us. But we can guess it has something to with the company lacking faith that they’ll move many models in a manual configuration.
There’s a little of that going on over at Genesis, too. While the company is happy to offer the sticked version with the base engine, the brawnier twin-turbo V6 is a different story. Fortunately, mating the six-speed manual to the smaller 2.0-liter turbo results in a fewer ponies getting lost along the way. Unlike the base car (equipped with an eight-speed automatic), the manual variant boasts 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
It’s not exactly an engineering miracle, but selecting your own gears also nets you rear-wheel drive, unique sport exhaust, Brembo brakes with enhanced performance pads, and “additional weight reduction measures.” You can also option a limited-slip differential.
That LSD lands in the AWD-equipped cars as well and, if all you care about is performance specs, you’ll probably want to get one of those with torque vectoring. The 3.3-liter V6 may not come with a manual but it does boast a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, thanks to its 365 horsepower and 376 foot-pounds of torque.
Additional options include adaptive sport suspension, 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires, and Active Sound Design — which pumps in faux exhaust noises paired to the car’s five available drive modes (Sport, Comfort, Smart, Eco and Custom).
The G70 was officially unveiled in September and had its U.S. debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Meanwhile, Hyundai has been trying to figure out a way to get the Genesis brand its own dealer network, or at least ensure existing Hyundai/Kia shops give the luxury models their own area.
You might think separating the G70 and the Kia Stinger would be essential, as they’re basically the same car and eagle-eyed shopper could see through the luxury veneer. But they aren’t the same. While they share a common architecture, the Genesis is noticeably smaller, isn’t a hatchback, and weighs about 100 pounds less in every configuration.
It’s also a more dialed-in package than the Stinger, which wears its development as a grand tourer on its sleeve. That’s not a dig against the Kia, it’s simply a reminder that these two cars are less similar than you might assume. The G70 launches in the United States this summer. While pricing has yet to be announced, we suggest taking a look at similarly quipped Stingers and tacking on a couple grand.
[Images: Genesis Motors]