This is the new Genesis G80: the latest luxury saloon from Hyundai’s premium offshoot. While Hyundai doesn’t sell Genesis models in Europe, this second-generation G80 will take on the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class in North America, Australia, Russia, the Middle East and its South Korean home market.
The G80 uses a brand new design language and represents a big departure from its slightly clunky predecessor. The front is dominated by a huge shield grille flanked by split LED headlights – the latter a feature which is mirrored at the rear, with similar looking tail lights. There are elements of the previous Mercedes S-Class and CLS-Class in its overall proportions, and there’s lots of chrome trim to emphasise the posh look.
Inside, Genesis designers have prioritised minimalism when creating the G80’s interior. Air flows from vents within a slot running the width of the dashboard, separating the leather dash above and wood veneer below. Above the vents sits an ultra-wide 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, which can also be controlled by a rotary dial on the centre console.
While the touchscreen caters for most of the entertainment and navigation controls, there are still physical dials for the climate functions, too. The steering wheel, which has four horizontal spokes, has hints of the new Hyundai i20’s wheel, albeit finished much more lavishly.
Effort has been made to reduce the size of the A-pillars. This is to help give an airier feel and improve visibility. This is aided by the effort to reduce the height of the dashboard; allowing for what Genesis calls a ‘panoramic view’ out of the front. Genesis also says that both leg and headroom have improved relative to its predecessor.
Three engines are available to choose from, including petrol and diesel units (though the diesel won’t come to the U.S.) The diesel is one we’re familiar with; a 2.2-litre unit with 207bhp and 440Nm, related to the one used by the Kia Stinger and the new Sorento. The petrol lineup consists of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V6, both of which are turbocharged. The four-cylinder produces 300bhp and 421Nm, while the V6 makes 375bhp and 530Nm. Petrol-powered models get a switchable sound augmentation system, allowing the driver to choose between a regular and a sportier soundtrack.
The previous V6 model tipped the scales at just over 1,900kg, which made it a little portly compared to the equivalent E-Class. However, the extensive use of aluminium in the car’s construction has helped Genesis engineers to trim 110kg from the car’s overall weight – a boost to both performance and fuel economy. The centre of gravity has reduced, too, and extra sound insulation has been added in a bid to improve rolling refinement.
The Genesis gets an extensive kit list including 20-inch alloy wheels, heated and ventilated seats front and rear, navigation with over-the-air mapping updates, remote parking functions operated via the key fob, and ambient mood lighting.
The new Genesis G80 is on sale in South Korea now, with sales moving to North America in the second half of 2020. Prices in Korea start from the equivalent of £34,000.
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