Driving the First Spike: Genesis GV80 Launched
The GV80 takes its place in the Genesis showroom alongside the brand’s three sedans.
These days, trying to push an automotive brand into the mainstream without an SUV in the lineup is like trying to start a pizza place without any pepperoni. Customer demand drives product and, right now, customers want SUVs.
The GV80 takes its place in the Genesis showroom alongside the brand’s three sedans. Set to take on luxury brands from Germany and Japan, the three-row GV80 will be laden with technology and luxury features intended to siphon customers away from established brands. That’s a 14.5-inch infotainment screen atop the dash, along with a Land Rover-like panel for controlling climate and ventilation.
In what sounds vaguely like something from the Jetsons (or at least Forza), augmented reality navigation will utilize virtual driving guidelines over actual driving images to help drivers recognize roads. Video taken by a front-mounted camera will be displayed on the infotainment screen, with the optimal driving route displayed in a virtual graphic.
At launch in Korea, the GV80 will be fitted with a 3.0L six-cylinder diesel. Don’t expect that mill to make it across the pond, given the challenges other brands have had with diesel certification on this continent. Instead, look for the brand’s 3.5L gasoline six-pot that makes nearly 400 horses. Naturally, this is an all-wheel drive rig.
Genesis hopes you like the stacked, twin lamps that comprise each of the car’s head- and tail lamps as they are going to be a feature of the brand. “The Quad Lamp graphic will become the most recognizable, unique signature of Genesis design,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “Two lines will come to define Genesis.”
The brand is promoting the GV80 as a ‘mobile oasis’, whether that’s during a drive to the office or departing on a weekend trip. The driver’s seat contains no fewer than seven air cells in addition to the traditional directions of adjustment, so getting comfy should be a breeze in the GV80. Genesis promises “limousine-level relaxation” in the second row. Those quilted seats do look tremendous though your author is not sure about the two-spoke steering wheel
While the Genesis brand has been around for nearly half a decade, this SUV will drive the first real spike in an attempt to secure the brand’s future on this side of the world. After all, you can’t have a pizza shop with no pepperoni.