Hyundai’s premium brand Genesis will also be launched in Europe with the G80. The hatchback sedan is said to poach in the territory of German premium competition.
Luc Donckerwolke was entrusted with the overall supervision of the design of the new Genesis G80. The Belgian had previously left his mark as chief Lamborghini designer, but had also designed for the Skoda and Seat cars in the VW Group. In 2016 he moved from Bentley to Hyundai and became the design chief of the entire group for the Koreans. He once again proves that Donckerwolke knows what noble cars should look like with the model with which the Genesis brand will return to Europe: the G80.
At the front of the new Genesis G80, there is a huge radiator grille that is strongly arrowed down. It is flanked by narrow, two-part headlamp units, the so-called “quadlamps”, each with a turn signal element. An apron with large cooling air openings spreads underneath. The contoured bonnet directs the eyes to the A-pillar, which frames a fairly low windshield.
In the side view, next to the ironing door handles, which are placed below a pronounced bead, the continued indicators, which are located between the front wheel arches and the door, are noticeable. However, the eye-catchers are the strong rear fenders, which accompany a long tail. This brings back memories of the Audi A7 Sportback and the Mercedes CLS. The discs are surrounded by a chrome rim all around. The classically designed five-spoke wheels are 20 inches tall.
While the overhang at the front is quite short, the rear presents itself with a long tail and a low flap including rump. The narrow tail lights take up the shape of the headlights – also when it comes to the turn signals. The Genesis lettering is emblazoned between the lights. Overall, the G80 looks quite dynamic thanks to its slightly recessed passenger compartment.
Inside, the hatchback sedan presents a tidy, horizontally oriented cockpit. The steering wheel has a striking chrome clasp, metallic rotary controls and rotating paddles and shows pronounced thumb recesses. Behind the valance there are digitally displayed, but classically represented circular instruments. The 14.5-inch widescreen infotainment screen almost seems to want to hide in the dashboard. On purpose, says Genesis, because technology should not dominate here, but only present itself when it is necessary. The slim ventilation opening runs across the entire width.
New platform, new drives
The Koreans offer three units for the new Genesis G80. The base engine will be a 2.5-liter turbo petrol engine, which will produce 304 hp and 421 Nm as a four-cylinder. The top engine will be a 3.5-liter V6 with turbocharging and 380 hp and 530 Nm. Even a diesel is offered. The 2.2 liter diesel engine generates 210 hp and 441 Nm from four cylinders. All engines are optionally combined with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The V8 from the predecessor is history.
The safety features of the Genesis G80 include an airbag package consisting of ten airbags – including a central airbag for the front passengers -, a self-learning adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a lane change assistant, a pre-safe system, a collision warning system, a parking assistant and one Blind Spot Assistant.
The Genesis G80 will be launched in Korea on March 30, 2020. North America should follow in the second half of the year, other markets later.
With the Genesis G80, the Korean luxury brand is clearly targeting the German premium models. In Germany it may be difficult, but the chances are better in other markets. Here, as in some cases in Germany, the brand scores with good service, good conditions, good technology and, above all, good design.