If you are the founder, the chairman of the board, the president or the chief executive or chief operating officer of a South Korean corporation, it’s likely best for business if you arrive at your office each day in a domestically produced vehicle.
You might have some sleek imported sports car back home in the garage for your weekend driving pleasure, but business is business and there is status to maintain.
Until the past few years, however, there wasn’t a locally produced vehicle that met your needs, not until Hyundai introduced Genesis, its luxury-car division. The top of the Genesis line is the G90, a car designed not around the driver but to meet the needs of the executive riding in the back seat on the passenger side.
And it’s not only South Korean executives who will appreciate such a limo. Executives in other nations will as well, or in my case, it’s the 6-foot-2-inch almost 15-year-old grandson who settled into that seat and discovered he had the controls to slide the front passenger’s seat far forward and even to tip that seat back forward so it doesn’t block the view through the windshield.
The controls also recline the right-rear seat, adjust heating and ventilation, audio system and the video screens mounted on the back of each of the front seats for an even more comfortable riding experience.
Those rear-seat controls are on a panel that pivots down between the back seats, but it also pivots up to provide room for a 5th passenger when you need such seating.
Not that the driver/chauffeur suffers in this setup. Though the G90 is limousine large — stretching nearly 205 inches in length — it rides on a 124.4-inch wheelbase, and it has dynamic capabilities developed at Hyundai’s European Test Center, which just happens to be located at Germany’s famed Nurburgring racing circuit.
Thus the large car is luxury smooth but also surprisingly athletically nimble, thanks in part to a 5.0-liter V8 engine rated at 420 horsepower. And while the engine offers only 383 pound-feet of torque, the 8-speed automatic transmission seems to make the most effective use of that power.
Though perhaps designed for carrying executives to and from work in crowed urban roadways, the G90 seems an ideal vehicle for a post-pandemic cross-country trip through the wide-open spaces of the American West.
2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate
Vehicle type: 5-passenger sedan, rear-wheel drive
Base price: $69,700 Price as tested: $n/a
Engine: 5.0-liter V8, 420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, 383 pound-feet of torque @ 5,000 rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 124.4 inches Overall length/width: 204.9 inches / 75.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,630 pounds
EPA mileage estimates: 16 city / 24 highway / 19 combined
Assembled in: South Korea