Genesis GV80 6

Genesis GV80: Inspired By South Korean Architectural Philosophy

  • The three-row Genesis GV80 is the luxury brand’s first SUV.
  • Genesis unveiled the new GV80 recently during an event Seoul.
  • U.S. models receive two turbo engines; South Korea gets a diesel.

Genesis didn’t waste a lick of time. Since announcing their intentions to become a separate namesake under Hyundai in 2015, Genesis has established a presence in the United States, Canada, Russia, the Middle East, and Australia. They are now one of the highest-ranked on the market from third-party experts like Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and Auto Pacific.

“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction,” Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman, said in 2015 as the brand was announced.

Today, the Genesis portfolio consists of the G70 sport sedan, G80 and G80 Sport luxury sedans, and the flagship G90. Add one more to the list: the 2021 Genesis GV80.

What Is The Genesis GV80?

The three-row GV80 is the brand’s first official SUV, and will be available as a 2021 model. Minimalist interior, a host of high-tech features, electronically-controlled suspension, and available 22-inch wheels are among the highlights.

Initial test drive reviews from Car & Driver and Road Show are positive. Both publications also show how an SUV offering is critical now for Genesis, especially if they are to continue appealing to discerning luxury buyers in the U.S. While sedans are alive and kicking, SUVs and crossovers still command a lion’s share of the market. Parent company Hyundai knows this. Their own SUV lineup gained two critical entries this last year in the larger Palisade and the smaller Venue.

Now the attention is on Genesis and the GV80 appears to be a strong swing for the fences. In terms of product specs, here is what Genesis shared with us.

Genesis GV80
2020 Genesis GV80. Photo: Genesis Motor America, LLC.

Exterior Design: Orchids & Diamonds

Like automakers often do, Genesis wants to emphasize their design language as being set apart from the group. “We enjoyed the challenge to apply ‘Athletic Elegance’ design language to SUV architecture,” explained Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “The precise proportions and attention to every detail denote that GV80 is authentic to Genesis design principles.”

The Crest Grille stands out immediately here. Moving around the GV80, we see what is known as “Parabolic Lines” to help magnify the vehicle’s stance and presence. The Quad Lamps, which flank the Crest Grille, are an essential part of the design as well. In fact, a special “G-Matrix” pattern appears in light fixtures throughout the exterior. The inspiration? Orchids and diamonds.

“The Quad Lamp graphic will become the most recognizable, unique signature of Genesis design, as the simplest of lines communicate a distinct identity,” Donckerwolke continued.

Genesis GV80 interior layout
Genesis GV80 interior layout. Photo: Genesis Motor America, LLC.

Interior Themes: Inspired By History

Genesis draws on their South Korean heritage and culture with two fundamental concepts: beauty of white space and luxury in space. Both are important and integral themes in South Korean architectural philosophy. “We were able to express a luxurious feel for the interior of GV80 through reductive design and channeling the Korean roots of the Genesis brand,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Genesis Design. “The concept of the ‘beauty of white space’ is a hallmark of Korean design.”

Designers deliberately kept the number of physical buttons and switches to a minimum, both for aesthetic purposes and ease of use. Instead, a 4.5-inch infotainment display rests comfortably on the dash and controls many of the GV80’s functions. Higher trim levels will see more soft-touch materials throughout, including quilted knee pads for the lower sides of the center console.

Genesis GV80 interior layout
Higher trim levels have quilted knee pads for the lower sides of the center console. Photo: Genesis Motor America, LLC.

Interior Themes: Tech & Comfort

Genesis wants the GV80 to be as comfortable as possible, and has taken careful steps to ensure that very thing. For example, the driver’s seat contains seven different air cells to help reduce fatigue on a long trip. Heated and ventilated seats are available for both the first and second rows (third-row occupants are out of luck).

To keep things quiet, the GV80 uses what Genesis calls Road Active Noise Cancellation technology. It analyzes road noise in real time, then generates a sound wave of an opposite phase to “cancel” intrusive noises.

The blast from the future here is how the GV80 makes use of augmented reality navigation. Genesis says it utilizes virtual driving guidelines over actual images to help occupants recognize the road. Video from the front camera displays on the center screen; then the optimal path appears in a virtual graphic so drivers can proceed along the route more accurately.

Augmented reality navigation is not necessarily a guarantee, at least for the moment. According to Genesis, the feature is only available select markets, but they made no mention of which markets specifically. However, it seems a feature like this would be destined for North America.

Genesis GV80
Photo: Genesis Motor America, LLC.

What Engine Does The Genesis GV80 Have?

Two turbo gas engines will be available for the GV80 in the U.S. market. Aside from that, Genesis hasn’t released any other details in terms of performance or anticipated fuel economy. The South Korean home market, however, will receive a six-cylinder diesel with 274 horsepower and a whopping 433 lb-ft. of torque. Unfortunately, that engine will not be available in the USA.

Is The Genesis GV80 All-Wheel Drive?

The Genesis GV80 is based on a rear-wheel drive platform, although all-wheel drive is optional. Like the engines for the U.S. market, we don’t know much else right now about the all-wheel drive system. Genesis did say, however, U.S.-spec GV80s with all-wheel drive will have an electronic limited-slip differential.

Hot-stamped, high-strength steel make up much of the GV80's body structure. To cut weight, aluminum was used for the doors, hood, and tailgate.
The GV80’s body structure is primarily hot-stamped, high-strength steel. To cut weight, aluminum was used for the doors, hood, and tailgate. Photo: Genesis Motor America, LLC.

The Genesis GV80 Has Plenty of Safety Tech

The GV80 comes standard with 10 airbags, plus a host of other advanced safety features: Driver Attention Alert Warning, Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist among others.

As safety features go, Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning stands out more so than the others. It’s similar to adaptive cruise control but goes a little farther. Genesis describes it as an AI-based system with intuitive navigation. They don’t provide (at least for right now) any other details but say the system can independently learn the characteristics of its drivers, and implement autonomous controls similar to that of human drivers.

Genesis GV80: Pricing & Availability

The 2021 Genesis GV80 goes on sale this summer. The chart below shows pricing by trim level. Add an additional $1,025 for destination and freight charges.

GV80 2.5T RWD Standard$48,900
GV80 2.5T RWD ADVANCED$52,800
GV80 2.5T RWD PRESTIGE$57,050
GV80 2.5T AWD Standard$54,650
GV80 2.5T AWD ADVANCED$59,000
GV80 2.5T AWD PRESTIGE$63,400
GV80 3.5T AWD Standard$59,150
GV80 3.5T AWD ADVANCED$64,350
GV80 3.5T AWD ADVANCED+$65,050
GV80 3.5T AWD PRESTIGE$70,950

The Automoblog staff covers automotive industry news, trends, and technology along with new vehicle releases. Automoblog is owned and operated by Gearhead Media LLC., based in Detroit, Michigan and Berlin, Germany. 

Photos & Source: Genesis Motor America, LLC.