Hyundai and Genesis Head of Vehicle Test & High-Performance Development, has a different view of what a luxury car should be than his competitors. At last week's unveiling of the new G70, Albert Biermann minced no words about what he thought about the sophisticated technology companies like BMW and Mercedes are using in their cars these days, Drive reports.
“It’s all marketing, first of all,” Biermann said. “How many people really buy it later on? Much of this exists for media, to give a hype, to show the technology level. But how many people really buy it later on? If the tech will fail, you’re just adding the burden to the buyer, right?”
Biermann should know. Before joining Hyundai and Genesis, he was Vice President of Engineering at BMW M Automobiles. He knows his competition literally inside and out.
Indeed, Tyler Hoover of Autotrader Oversteer recently bought a 2005 BMW 745i, which originally cost more than $75,000 new, for just $3,400. Though it runs and drives well, nearly every warning light on the dashboard is on, "creating what looks like a smaller version of a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Concert," Hoover writes.
Writer and YouTuber Tavarish, (a.k.a. Freddy Hernandez), has built a reputation on buying used luxury cars with significant technology failures and repairing them for pennies on the dollar.
Genesis takes a very different approach to the technology used in its cars.
“In our G90 you will not find any air suspension or active roll-bars, or active whatever. A camera sensing the road, and this stuff. It’s stupid," Biermann said. "We have a solid Hyundai steel platform, tonnes of high-strength steel—okay, it’s a little bit heavier than the other cars—and we have adjustable shock absorbers, and that’s it."
Though unconventional, Genesis' refusal to keep up with the Joneses on the technology front doesn't seem to have put them at a disadvantage when it comes to performance.
“We still outpace the S-Class in the double lane-change in Consumer Reports," Biermann said. "We almost beat the BMW, without all the fancy stuff.”
And when it comes to luxury, the G90 is just as comfortable as the competition. It is equipped with all of the technology you would actually use, but none of the "razzle-dazzle" of the competition. It will be interesting to see how many people appreciate the Genesis "back to basics" approach enough to buy one instead of the more-established competition.