The GV80 SUV is poised for serious volume for Genesis.
The attention to detail in both these vehicles is mind-blowing.
Pre-order numbers are greater than anticipated.
The new 2021 Genesis G80 sedan and GV80 SUV are the brand’s core building blocks on which Hyundai’s luxury division will build its global presence. Now that we’ve physically seen them, we think the carmaker’s path will be a successful one.
Genesis is, for the moment, a very nimble brand that is building a legacy, not confined and trapped by one. This gives them the ability to circumnavigate situations like the pandemic with certain ease, and with little impact on their ongoing growth plans.
Both the GV80 and G80 have been open to pre-orders for some time. And while they are never a flawless indicator of interest in a product, in Genesis’ case, although they won’t share statistics with the media, there is a correlation. The number of reservations has far exceeded expectations which to us is a sign that luxury vehicle buyers have taken notice. They are doing something right.
This year alone, and so far, they’ll have introduced two core products that will define the brand going forward. We were present at the North American premiere of the GV80 SUV but had no one-on-one time with the vehicle – the crowds surrounding it were impassable. Less than two months later, the G80 sedan broke cover but the world was already in the midst of the pandemic. Genesis invited us to one of their boutiques in order to give us a chance to become better acquainted with both vehicles.
The Genesis Design Language
Although less controversial now and more a conversation starter, the Genesis Parabolic Line has already become the brand’s defining and signature styling cue. The quad headlamps which flow to the sides as markers remain somewhat more distracting than attractive but the symmetry is alluring. The taillights however are wholly elegant and fit both the G80’s trunk lid and the GV80’s hatch.
The massive crest grille is a key and considerable part of Genesis’s visual DNA. In fact, it’s meant, with the quad headlamps, to mimic the Genesis logo. As with most “loud” front fascias, they will eventually become quiet as they go from scarce to common with all other brands and their increasingly larger grilles.
As one walks around the vehicles, the shared rearward gently sloping character line sits the body on the wheels. Every line seems to have a purpose and all culminated in the rear. In fact, both the SUV and sedan are most dapper from a ¾ rearview. While staring, it’s ok, you’ll noticed the new AWD badge where the “A” looks like a “4”. The AWD system is still Hyundai’s HTRAC technology – Genesis has simply rebranded it for further differentiation.
The Genesis G80 sedan is not quite as imposing physically as initially thought. Unlike the G90, the G80 is taut but still luxuriously large. We suspect it’s the elegant Tasman Blue paint hue that gives the car both subtility and flair. But that’s barely half of it.
The cabin’s material and colour combination of Chestnut Brown (was Maroon Brown) and Forest Blue leather is a gorgeous throwback to actual colours being used in car interiors. The leather pattern on the seats is unlike anything available under a $150,000 price tag. The same could be said for the impressive 14.5-inch screen that sits above the elegant and streamlined dashboard.
Much of the centre console is shared between the G80 and GV80, including the DIS controller for the infotainment menus. The little we got to “play” with it showed us that the system is responsive and easy enough to navigate. What we like best for an all-new ultra-modern car is the piano-black or glossy surface and hard-button ratio, which is perfectly balanced.
The prevailing sense of depth and attention to detail within the G80 is nearly all-encompassing. Every surface, and texture has a function, and it is to impress. And it does. And in our opinion, it’s even better in the GV80.
Cardiff Green. We can’t say enough good things about how well this colour fits the GV80’s curves, and various highlights and brightwork. In fact, Genesis has shared that this colour is present is in a significant portion of pre-orders.
And here’s another example of the freedom afforded to Genesis as they do not have to please a highly-conservative and older luxury-vehicle buying crowd: The Chestnut Brown (was Maroon Brown) and Smoky Green interior. In this case, Genesis’ dared to do something different and it is phenomenal. And, it has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
These latter few words apply to the GV80 in every respect. While the G80’s cabin is sumptuous, the GV80’s blends in extra versatility which lends to it a more luxurious sense of substance. The center console rises to meet the dashboard all the while floating above an open storage area. The way the two sections meet looks natural.
Both vehicles are set up with the most stunning (and I mean it) center-console knee-pads I have ever seen. I did not notice them in the G80 but, given that the GV80 is taller, they jump out in a meaningful way in the SUV. The diamond-quilted pattern on the GV80’s seats is more conventional than the G80’s pattern, and it also visually fits better.
The SUV’s first two rows are comfortable and spacious. Accessing the third is easy enough for a semi-limber 44-year old however knee- and head-room is taxed. As for all seating positions, even in the very back, Genesis includes plenty of visual details, lovely surfaces and features.
Genesis in 2020, and the future
Genesis may very well look back on 2020 as being a very good year – This will be at odds with the remainder of the industry. Unlike BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and most other luxury brands, Genesis is not a burdened car company. Being in its infancy, it is without layers upon layers of products, rules, and occasionally unattainable expectations. It is flexible and agile.
The beauty is that these two all-new vehicles can do little else but surpass expectations. Satisfying textures, controls, and materials are all displayed together in a notably unique design. And then there’s Genesis’ online and at-home business model, fixed all-inclusive pricing and simple trims and packaging. In no uncertain terms, Genesis has removed all unpleasantness from the shopping and purchasing process.
Everything Genesis has done over the last few years, including the G70, the new G90 and these two vehicles, is extremely convincing. Now, all that remains is to find out if the drive as good as they look.