2021 Genesis GV80
Only a few years ago the Genesis brand debuted an SUV concept at the New York Auto Show, letting the world know that the new luxury brand — a spinoff of Hyundai — would continue to expand its product portfolio with a premium SUV. Now the Korean brand follows through on its promise with the introduction of the all-new GV80 — an eye-catching luxury SUV with styling similar to the concept shown in New York in 2017.
First Genesis SUV
Mark Del Rosso, CEO of Genesis Motor North America, noted the “GV80 is our proof of concept that we infuse the spirit of youth and wonder into everything we do.” Invoking the acronym that no new vehicle launch lacks, Del Rosso also exclaimed, “We developed GV80 by looking inward and asking ourselves how Genesis brand DNA could differentiate our very first SUV. I’m overwhelmed by the bench strength at Genesis and what the design, engineering and development teams have accomplished with the GV80.” According to Genesis press materials, the V in the name represents the versatility of the new model. Thanks to recently leaked automotive spy photography, we anticipate other GV models will arrive soon, starting with a smaller GV80 that will be likely — and aptly — named GV70.
New Lights, Two Lines
The GV80 has styling that complements the Genesis lineup. Joining the G70, G80 and G90 sedans, the new SUV features the familiar Crest Grille while introducing a new headlight style for the brand. The quad narrow lamps create a unique look, similar to the lights shown on the concept vehicle. “The Quad Lamp graphic will become the most recognizable, unique signature of Genesis design, as the simplest of lines communicate a distinct identity,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group Luc Donckerwolke. “Two lines will come to define Genesis,” noted Donckerwolke.
Strong and Light
The GV80 features a strong but lightweight structure made primarily from hot-stamped high-strength steel, with weight savings achieved by building the doors, hood and tailgate using lightweight aluminum. Constructed using a unique rear-wheel-drive platform, the GV80 can also be equipped with full-time all-wheel drive that features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.
Two turbocharged engines will be available for the GV80 in the U.S. — a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit and a 3.5-liter V6. Each will be teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower figures haven’t been released, but we expect the new 3.5-liter V6 to be a twin-turbo powerplant producing at least 380 horses.
Looking inside, the GV80 heralds a departure from the interior styling found in the current Genesis lineup. Narrow air vents run across the dashboard to give occupants the impression of a wide cabin, further enhanced by a 14-inch-wide split-screen infotainment display in the center. The two-tone steering wheel features a single, wide horizontal spoke that spans from hand to hand, with integrated controls at the edges.
The center console contains a dial for the shift-by-wire transmission, which frees up considerable space. Also a standout is the stylish round control unit used for navigating the infotainment system. With the exception of a few menu buttons as well as volume and tuning dials, most interaction takes place with the touchscreen or voice.
Seats are covered in attractive diamond-pleated leather, and the front two rows can be heated or ventilated. The driver’s seat contains seven air cells designed to reduce fatigue during long drives. Also adding to motive comfort is the what Genesis calls the first-ever use of Road Active Noise Cancelation technology. This system creates sound waves of opposite phase by analyzing road and wind noise in real time and, in effect, canceling it out.
In the 2021 GV80, Genesis will also introduce an electronically-controlled suspension that reacts to road conditions. A front-facing camera provides the system with a preview to better react to bumps and rough pavement, creating a comfortable, smooth ride.
Similar to the rest of the Genesis lineup, the GV80 will have the most advanced safety technology as standard equipment. Features include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot warning and collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention alert ,and smart cruise control with machine learning. This feature learns the driving habits and styles of the driver and acts in a similar way when the smart cruise control is activated.
Availability and Price
Available as a 5- or 7-occupant crossover, the GV80 is expected to join the Genesis lineup this summer. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.