Genesis is readying a major update for its G80 mid-size sedan, as evidenced by the recent sighting of camouflaged prototypes.
The proportions are similar to those of the current G80, which is really just a rebadge of the second-generation Hyundai Genesis introduced for 2015, but the biggest tell that this is an update rather than a full redesign is the common design for the side glass and in particular the C-pillar accent.
There are of course differences. The face receives a major restyling with inspiration coming from the Essentia coupe concept Genesis unveiled at the 2018 New York auto show. Borrowed from the concept is the triangular-shaped grille and flat, dual-bar headlights.
Moving rearward, we see the side mirrors have moved to the doors instead of at the base of the A-pillars like on the current G80. And at the rear, the the trunk lid now sports a Kammback-like design with a repeat of the flat lights motif. Expect the final design to resemble the look seen on the 2020 G90 flagship sedan and 2021 GV80 mid-size SUV.
2020 Genesis GV80, 2020 Chicago Auto Show
The current G80 comes with a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 and 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 in regular form and a 365-hp 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 in G80 Sport trim. It's possible the V-8 is dropped and the base V-6 replaced by the 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 that debuted in the GV80, though Genesis is quiet on the matter. A plug-in hybrid option may also appear at some point. It's something Genesis design boss Luc Donckerwolke hinted at in 2017.
The interior should also be in for a major revamp. Look for a digital instrument cluster and large infotainment screen, along with the latest in electronic driver-assist features.
2021 Genesis G80 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Genesis isn't quite at the dynamic level of German brands in the premium sector but its cars were rated top in quality in the most recent market surveys and the brand's design appears to be on the up thanks to the efforts of Donckerwolke, a former Bentley and Lamborghini designer, and his team.
We expect the updated G80 on sale later this year as a 2021 model, with pricing likely to start close to the $43,000 base price of the outgoing model. Further out, look for a small SUV, a large coupe, and battery-electric powertrains to join Genesis' lineup.