Looking at the calendar, we can see that spring has come. But spring still feels a little far away in Seoul - probably because of the crisp air and flowerless streets. I headed south because I could not shake off all the emptiness; I may have been missing spring because I had waited for so long or tired of wearing a face mask every day. Winter comes from the north, but spring comes from the south. This is how the unexpected spring trip began.
If you feel butterflies in your stomach, maybe it’s because of the color. The body color of the Genesis GV70 that I chose for this trip was the bright Mauna Red. As is well known, the GV70 features Genesis’ unique design philosophy of ‘dynamic elegance’ in the most harmonious way. Add the optional sports package, and you get a more agile look with dedicated internal/external parts. So, like a sports car, an intense red shade would go well with it.
Seeing the interior in Ultramarine Blue contrasting with Mauna Red reminded me of the lining of a custom suit. A suit would be a canvas-like garment that captures individual characteristics. Matching a calming body shade with a colorful interior, or balance the colorful exterior with a calm color lining. The GV70, finished in Mauna Red and Ultramarine Blue, was also full of anti-war charm. The mood lighting that subtly illuminates the interior felt like a point that harmonizes the interior and exterior colors.
The start of the trip was smooth and quiet. Some people say SUVs are diesel, but this is not true any longer. Now, SUVs can also choose from a variety of drivetrains depending on their purpose and taste. For example, the GV70 offers four options: gasoline 2.5 turbo, gasoline 3.5 turbo, diesel 2.2, and an electrified model with a motor.
I drove south without a break, enjoying the smooth acceleration sensation of the gasoline 2.5 turbo engine. The GV70 was comfortable along the way. The torque at 100 km/h was only about 1,600 rpm, so there was no pressure on long-distance driving. I turned on the seat massage and enjoyed smooth driving thanks to the Smart Cruise Control. I could listen to the music in the quiet cabin.
Not knowing how far I’d come, a warm breeze blew in as I opened the window. It felt closer to spring, so I headed for the national road. But I overlooked one thing: spring arrives differently in each region, and the spectacular view of the flowers in full bloom here is yet to come. At the end of March, Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, was not yet in full bloom. I had to wait for a bit longer until the flower buds burst.
This was sad. So I decided to try getting a little closer to spring. This time, I had to pick a location carefully. After long consideration, I chose Hadong, south of Mt. Jirisan. It is famous for a traditional Korean market, located on the stem of the Seomjin River that runs through Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do provinces. I went to ‘Hadongsimni Cherry Blossom Road’, where 50-year-old cherry blossom trees are lined up.
Fortunately, spring flowers were everywhere in Hadong when I arrived. The green tea fields were also welcoming. It seemed as if my soul had become green as well. Hadong is one of Korea’s most prestigious tea growing regions. History says that a diplomat brought the first tea seed from China during the Tang Dynasty and planted it here in the 9th century.
I wanted to drink a cup of green tea, which has 1,200 years of history, but unfortunately, the time was not right. Tea leaves are usually harvested from the end of April to the end of May, and have four different kinds of them depending on the season. Ujeon, one of them, is called ‘the first tea’ because they picked this for the first time every year, and it is said to have a delicate and mild taste.
The cherry blossoms in full bloom made me forget about not having the tea. The trees were forming a beautiful tunnel. I opened the window again and inhaled the scent of spring. Finally, I could feel that I was in the middle of spring. The petals flying in the air looked so beautiful yet sad at the same time. Maybe this was because spring, which I had been waiting for a year, already seemed to disappear quickly.
Together with the GV70, I enjoyed the full spring, gently yet boldly. The quiet engine responded with a loud sound as I pushed the accelerator. The GV70 kept stability even on the small public road with twisting corners.
The GV70 is a luxury SUV made for city driving, but it was also strong enough to pass through gravels. Thanks to this, I was able to get closer to the stream. Being able to get closer to nature anytime, anywhere, is one of the model’s strong suits. The versatility of the GV70 also greatly helps driver safety; unexpected extreme weather such as heavy rain or snow could also be happening in the city.
It was getting late, and the trip to spring came to an end. I drove all day without a break, but I wasn’t so tired at all; this was all possible for the comfortable GV70. Personally, the GV70 felt like a Grand Tourer (GT). A grand tourer is a car that can go on long-distance trips quickly and comfortably. In the past, it was mainly referred to as a high-performance coupe. Even though the GV70 is an SUV that can comfortably handle heavy and huge loads, you can comfortably enjoy the dynamic design and agility of a coupe. If you want the excitement of travel, the GV70 will be a good partner. The whole time I was with GV70, flowers bloomed in my heart.
by Min-Hee Ahn
photography by Jin-Ho Choi
filmed by Do-Yeon Nam, Jae-Won Lee, Hyeon-kyun Lee, Han-kyeol Kim
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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