As Hyundai’s customer-focused luxury brand, Genesis is still a fairly new player in the auto industry. In order to increase sales and hopefully compete with more established companies, it had to offer more than just three cars, namely the G70, G80 and G90 sedans.
So, last month, Genesis finally unveiled its anticipated 2021 GV80 sport utility vehicle. The “V” stands for versatility, in case you’re wondering.
The production model, of course, is inspired by the GV80 Concept introduced at the 2017 New York Auto Show. Embodying “Athletic Elegance,” it’s a collaboration between Genesis design studios located in South Korea, the United States and Germany.
Just like the refreshed G90, the GV80 sports a massive pentagonal grille with a diamond pattern, but it pushes the brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design language to another level.
Consider the sharply sculpted hood and “Quad Lamp” signature up front. The dual lines of the headlights are carried over to the front fenders and taillights. Wheels up to 22 inches in size complement the sleek body made of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum.
The GV80 interior is available with two or three rows of seats which replicate the diamond motif. The most striking aspect is the clean look of the dashboard and centre stack capped by an ultra-wide 14.5-inch infotainment display. There’s also an electronic, shift-by-wire transmission base with dial-style shift, plus a nearby touchpad with handwriting recognition allowing users to set a destination or enter phone numbers without having to operate a keyboard on the screen.
Technology lovers will be impressed with the Genesis GV80, starting with world-first active road noise control which uses the stereo’s speakers to neutralize undesirable sound waves. The package also includes augmented-reality navigation, an active motion driver’s seat for reduced fatigue, automatic cabin air purification and an electronically controlled suspension that uses information from the GPS and a pair of front cameras to scan the road and optimize ride comfort.
Another world first is smart cruise control with machine learning, an AI-powered technology that independently learns driving patterns and essentially makes the vehicle more autonomous.
What about the powertrain? The GV80 offers two turbocharged gasoline engines. The first is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that will be shared with the G70 following its mid-cycle update, while the second is a brand new 3.5-litre V6. Output has not been specified, but look for an eight-speed automatic transmission in both cases. In Canada, all-wheel drive will be standard and mated to a multi-terrain control system with sand, mud and snow modes.
Incidentally, the 2021 Genesis GV80 is already on sale in Korea and currently available to pre-order in Canada at www.genesis.ca/gv80. Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in the summer. In the meantime, the GV80 will make its Canadian debut in Toronto from February 14-23.