A SoCal cruise in a refreshed flagship
Genesis spent several years building a stable of really interesting concept cars ranging from the sleek Essentia sports car to the compact Mint EV. All that design work has begun to transition over to actual production cars. The 2020 G90 is the first model to get the new design theme applied, sort of. The flagship sedan’s updated look is really a refresh to the second generation model, albeit a pretty severe change.
In sandwich terms, the bread has been swapped out but the filling remains the same. The G90’s front and rear exterior are new. The Genesis design team had the tricky task of carrying over the roof and doors and blending them with the refined lines of the new design theme. The moves mostly work but you can see where the compromises occurred to get the body lines to flow. The front grille for instance is enormous. Yes, that’s something of a trend in 2020 and it is more exaggerated in photos. But the size is likely a consequence of the existing belt line from the doors being carried forward to create the hood crease that wraps into the grille.
I spent a day cruising around LA taking part in the North American media drive hosted by Genesis. Even though the route included a mix of typical SoCal road types, city, residential, canyon and freeway, the G90 felt most at home as a highway cruiser. I think there’s no better task suited for a large sedan than road tripping, and the G90 would be a great partner on a highway escape.
Since the day had a tight schedule and LA traffic being what it is, I didn’t have a lot of shoot time on the route. The One Hotel in West Hollywood were I stayed had a car pad that Genesis staged a G90 on and it wasn’t a bad location. The drive route did make a couple stops at architectural highlights around LA. I had a quick wander around the Getty Museum at a coffee break and dinner was at the Eric Owen Moss-designed Vespertine in Culver City(a pretty amazing culinary experience as well).
As for a few final impressions on the G90 before the photos, the exterior does present a more refined image for the brand. But there’s something of a war between the bold elements of the grille and the subtler details like the band that splits the headlights or the wake creases of the hood logo. Is this car meant to be strong and decisive or subtle and elegant?
One detail that does work incredibly well are the pseudo spoke wheels. They’re design in a clever way to include the center cap in the spoke pattern, making the wheel appear larger. They do have something of a 90’s BMW vibe, however they fit the G90 perfectly.
Photos and Text: Dave Pinter