The world's newest luxury car has some big targets on its hit list

The first ever Genesis G70 has been revealed at an event in Korea, with the strikingly sporty compact sedan clearly offering an alternative to the mainstay models in this segment of the luxury car market.

The freshest luxury car offering on the planet is a product of Genesis, the luxury arm of Hyundai. This model, the G70 sedan, is its competitor to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

If it doesn’t really look much like the Genesis models you’ve seen come before it, there’s good reason for that – the Genesis G70 is said to show us what we can expect from the brand as its range grows.

“The all-new G70’s design represents the future direction of the Genesis brand’s design identity,” the company said in a media release. “Athletic elegance is represented in the exterior design as the car captures both beauty and tension, like an athlete poised to perform.”

It fits the bill in terms of size, with a length of 4685mm, width of 1850mm and height of 1400mm aligning it closely with its rivals. It rides on a 2835mm wheelbase. The new Genesis G70 shares DNA with the Kia Stinger – including the same engines as its slightly larger Kia sibling, and it’s built on the same platform, too.

The interior of the G70 features a driver-centric, horizontally-dominated design, and the company’s focus of quality materials is clear, with aluminium door handles, quilted leather door panels, and quilted/Nappa leather seat trim.

There will be five interior trim colours to choose from: Obsidian Black, Sandstorm Grey, Velvet Burgundy, Tobacco Brown and Vanilla Beige. Not enough? There’ll also be two Sports trims (red and grey) for the high-end sportiest offerings.

As for exterior paint options, there are 10: Platinum Silver, Carbon Metal, Marble White, Titanium Black, Racing Grey, Graceful Grey, Lapis Blue, Royal Blue, Blazing Red and Umber Brown. Genesis says it has developed a new paint finish with aluminium particles in the paint.

It’s not yet clear whether all of those colour options will be offered in Australia.

The G70 completes the Genesis sedan range, slotting in below the renamed G80 (previously sold in Australia as the Hyundai Genesis) and the G90 large sedan, which isn’t sold in Australia.

It may seem odd to some of you that the brand would invest heavily in the shrivelling sedan market rather the focus on SUVs, but there are Genesis SUVs coming, too. One must simply follow the natural order of things.

“The G70 marks the completion of Genesis sedan line-up and the brand will now start strengthening its line-up with SUVs and potentially alternative powertrains. Genesis plans to roll out new products to expand its presence and coverage across the global market and by 2021, six models are expected in its product portfolio,” the company says.

It’s clear Genesis is pitching its smallest sedan as a sporty offering – the pitch, according to the press documentation, is a driving character that is “agile yet safe, dynamic yet quiet”.

Every model has a launch control mode fitted, as well as a mechanical limited slip differential and dynamic torque vectoring. The G70 runs a rack-mounted, motor-driven power steering system and has multi-link rear suspension. Australian models will have a country-specific tune, too, courtesy of Hyundai’s Aussie engineering team.

International markets will have the choice of three drivetrains – a 2.0-litre turbo petrol (with 190kW of power/353Nm of torque), a 3.3-litre bi-turbo V6 petrol (with 272kW/510Nm) and a 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder (150kW and 440Nm) – and the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive.

Not in Australia, though – we’ll miss out on the diesel, and the all-wheel-drive models won’t be made in right-hand-drive. Check out our Aussie details story here.

Hyundai claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds for the 3.3-litre turbo model, undercutting the 4.9-second time already confirmed for the Stinger. Acceleration times for the other two engines are still to come.

Technology is a focal point for Genesis, with the artificial intelligence platform Kakao, and it features a server-based voice recognition system. The media system is an 8.0-inch touch-capacitive unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there’ll be stereo systems with up to 15 speakers available.

The G70 also adopts the G90’s “smart posture control system”, which adjusts the seat, steering wheel, side mirrors and head-up display to the “optimal position” based on the driver’s body information.

Safety tech is also key, with Genesis claiming the G70 offers an “unparalleled suite of advanced driver assist systems” including forward collision warning and avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a system called Highway Driving Assist with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, and assistance systems for blind-spot monitoring and driver fatigue monitoring.

The G70 goes on sale in Korea from September 20, with other world markets to follow. Australia will see its first Genesis G70 models in the first quarter of 2018.

Rival movements

The station of the nation in the mid-sized premium car market sees the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (starting at $61,400 plus on-road costs) leading the pack with 5643 sales year-to-date, with its more affordable (and officially smaller) companion the CLA ($52,500), listing 2303 sales in its own right.

The BMW 3 Series ($57,300) is well behind on 1865 sales - not including the 3 Series Gran Turismo (91 sales) - and the Audi A4 ($55,500) has claimed 1610 sales thus far this year. The Lexus IS ($59,340) is on 1129, and Jaguar's XE ($62,800) is just moving the needle with 640 sales. The new Alfa Romeo Giulia ($59,895) is close behind on 405 sales.

Infiniti's Q50 ($53,900) could be an easy rival for the G70 to pass, with just 117 sales in 2017 so far.

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