Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Features 2021 Genesis GV80: Genesis 2.0

2021 Genesis GV80: Genesis 2.0

There’s no doubt the Genesis GV80 will do wonders for the brand’s reach, appeal and bottom line.

  • The all-new Genesis GV80 will become the brand’s flagship vehicle.
  • It will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder or a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6.
  • AWD will be standard in Canada, as will a 14.5-inch infotainment screen.
  • Value, design, luxury and technology are all part of the GV80.

Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury vehicle branch, was founded in late 2015 and entered the market in 2016. As such, the car company is barely over three years old however they prefer to say: “three years young.” It’s an easy statement to understand on many levels. Despite the company’s youth, big changes are afoot and they all ride on the all-new flagship SUV, the 2021 Genesis GV80.

This GV80 is the first Genesis product to be fully designed under the watchful eye of Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, and his team. What he’s done, it no uncertain terms, is create and finalize the car company’s face and design language for future models. With the GV80, he’s delivered the face of the company.

Distinct design

2021 Genesis GV80 – Matt St-Pierre

Among the many signature elements to the 2021 Genesis GV80’s aesthetics are the “Monumental Crest Grille” which is very polarizing. The slim horizontal quad-lamps are another element that will find their way across the lineup. Altogether, the GV80’s front-end is certainly unique, and quite possibly an acquired taste. From here, the SUV grows more conservative but gains in elegance. The horizontal lines initiated by the headlamps carry into the side-markers and all the way to the taillights. In some markets, there will be up to twelve available colours however Canada will see fewer available hues. Fear not however as Cardiff Green will make the cut!

Travelling from one end to the other of its 4,945mm overall length (10mm more than BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE) reveals short overhangs and a generous 2,955mm wheelbase (40mm shorter than GLE). Depending on the trim, the 2021 Genesis GV80 will roll on 19-, 20- or 22-inch wheels which, in the case of the latter, superbly fill the wheel wells. The rear is by far our  favorite section of the SUV. The hatch has a “negative space,” or indent, that is inspired by musclecars from the 60s. As confusing as this may sound, it really works to spruce up a typically flat and boring white space.

Cosseting and comfort for all

2021 Genesis GV80 – Matt St-Pierre

2021 Genesis GV80 – Matt St-Pierre

On the topic of white space, Genesis designers paid special attention to the cabin, the dashboard and the level of comfort dedicated to all passengers on board. The optional 3rd row, should it be occupied by very small humans, are treated to nicer-than-expected materials. The real winners are in the second row as the seatbacks recline up to 22 degrees. Throughout the cabin, real woods, quality plastics and, optionally, quilted Nappa leathers are absolute top-notch.

Up front, driver and passenger are faced with a clean, clear and ergonomically laid out dashboard. Standard in all GV80s is an infotainment system with a huge 14.5-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled by CCP (captive control pad) which features hand-writing recognition. Below the CCP is the transmission gear selector wheel which sits at the bottom of the of the console. The dash-panel is unobstructed and includes a thin line of vents similar to those found in recent Audi products – the look is sporty and luxurious. And here we can’t help ourselves but to bring up the unusually unappealing two-spoke steering wheel – it’s bloated and seems out of place in the trendy SUV.

While we do not have trim or packaging information to share, we can mention that the 2021 Genesis GV80 will be equipped with a number of interesting or unique features. These include a center-side air bag between front seats, forward collision avoidance assistance with AI which will adapt to your driving style, active noise control, an 18-speaker Lexicon audio system, and much more.

Mechanically modern

2021 Genesis GV80 – Genesis

As for mechanical specs, nearly nothing was disclosed. We’d found some information online prior to the event (info is now confirmed) to the effect that engine choices will reside between a turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder (derived from the Hyundai Sonata) and a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6. Output numbers are not yet known but, in the Sonata, the 2.5T delivers 290-horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission will disperse power to the included AWD system. We also know the GV80 will roll on a bespoke RWD/AWD platform.

The GV80 is lit

2021 Genesis GV80 – Matt St-Pierre

2021 Genesis GV80 – Matt St-Pierre

Pre-orders for the 2021 Genesis GV80, initially reserved for Canada and South Korea, opened on January 16th and so far, Genesis representatives are saying that the number of hand-raisers has significantly outpaced the 200 for the G70 when it went for sale online through pre-orders. They would not specify an amount but suffice it to say that they are very encouraged by the demonstrated interest.

From here, the 2021 Genesis GV80 officially be seen in Canada for the first time at the Toronto Auto Show and hit the streets sometime in the summer. Pricing is not yet known however we assume a base 4-cylinder model will start in the mid-$50k range.

2021 Genesis GV80 – Genesis

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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