Genesis, Hyundai's luxury upstart, is taking the premium segment by storm.
The brand has just been rated the most dependable by influential research firm J.D.Power, and it has fresh product in the showroom in the form of the 2020 G90 full-size sedan and 2021 GV80 mid-size SUV, and more is on the way.
Soon, a redesigned G80 mid-size sedan sporting the same handsome look of those earlier models will arrive. Genesis revealed the new G80 in March and said the car will reach dealers in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model. On Tuesday, the Korean luxury brand announced pricing will start at $48,725, including destination. That's quite the jump on the outgoing 2020 G80's $43,575 base sticker but still a value against German rivals which all start around the $55,000 mark.
Underpinning the vehicle is a modified version of the brand-exclusive M3 rear-wheel-drive platform that debuted in the GV80. Thanks to the use of lightweight materials in the platform's construction, particularly aluminum, the new G80 weighs around 243 pounds less than its predecessor.
2021 Genesis G80
The use of the M3 platform also means powertrain options in the G80 match those of its SUV sibling. The base option is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque and above this is a newly developed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. In both cases an 8-speed auto is standard. A 2.2-liter turbodiesel will be offered outside the United States and further down the track a plug-in hybrid option may also appear. It's something former Hyundai design chief Luc Donckerwolke hinted at in 2017.
That starting price will net you a 2021 G80 with the 2.5-liter inline-4 and rear-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive will cost an additional $3,150. If you want the V-6, you'll really have to dig deep as the starting price here is $60,125. Once again that's with RWD. Opt for AWD and you'll need to pay the same $3,150 premium.
2021 Genesis G80
Beyond value, the new G80's exterior is the real masterstroke thanks namely to the talents of designers like Donckerwolke, as well as Sang Yup Lee, who heads design at the Genesis brand. The car retains the long hood, cab back design of its predecessor but now looks wider and more hunkered down, resulting in a powerful stance. You'll also find all the latest Genesis styling cues like the crest grille, Kammback rear, and quad-light arrangement at both ends.
The interior, too, looks to have been borrowed from the GV80, albeit with some subtle differences like the placing of a few controls. There's also leather, soft-touch surfaces and open pore wood throughout, though in base trim you only get leatherette and piano black gloss accents. The focal point is a 14.5-inch split-screen infotainment system that sits at the top of the dash. It's controlled both by hard buttons and a center console-mounted controller with handwriting recognition. A rotary-dial is also present for gear selection and a digital instrument cluster is available. Base models come with analog gauges and an 8.0-inch screen in the instrument cluster.
2021 Genesis G80
Genesis has also packed the G80 with the latest in electronic driver-assist features. There are all the usual features like adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. A highway assist feature with lane change assist is also included, as is a remote parking feature for those tight spots. The G80 also comes with a suspension system that relies on a forward-facing camera to scan the road and then adjusts the stiffness to suit.
For more on the Genesis G80, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.