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Luxury, versatility name of Genesis GV80 SUV game

Oz spec Genesis GV80 SUV to launch with diesel, two all-new turbo petrol engines

17 Jan 2020

GENESIS has unveiled its first entry into the premium SUV market with the GV80, a car specifically designed to poach sales from the existing market heavyweights including Mercedes, BWW, Audi and Lexus.


Due to arrive in Australia later this year, the GV80 will be offered with a choice of three engines, the choice of all- or rear-wheel-drive and electronically controlled suspension, with local pricing yet to be revealed.


Launched this week in Seoul, the model was debuted with Genesis’ first-ever diesel six-cylinder engine, a 3.0-litre unit producing 204kW of power and 588Nm of torque which has been paired with an automatic transmission, the only option available across the range regardless of trim level or spec.


Claimed fuel economy – for the RWD five-seater rolling on 19-inch wheels – is 8.5 litres per 100km.


Two turbocharged petrol engines are scheduled to join the line-up by the time the car arrives in Australia later this year, and while details are yet to be released, Hyundai Australia has confirmed they will be all-new units and not pinched from the G70 sedan.


As previously hinted, the flagship SUV will be available in a range of configurations with punters able to opt for either five or seven seats as well as RWD or AWD.


While the RWD diesel steals the efficiency headlines, the AWD variants will come with Genesis’ new Multi-Terrain Control featuring specific sand, mud and snow modes to maximise grip and increase versatility – the V in GV80 stands for versatility.


In a brand-first, all GV80s will be equipped with electronically controlled suspension which adjusts itself to suit the immediate road conditions via something engineers call road preview, a system which reads the road ahead via front-facing cameras and navigation information to optimise the ride.


“Our chassis engineers matched these versatile drive modes to an electronically controlled suspension with road preview that employs the intelligent ADAS camera to detect obstacles like speed bumps and adjust the damping forces accordingly,” Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) head of research and development Albert Biermann said.



On the style front, the GV80 has retained many of the features teased to the market since the concept car broke cover at the 2017 New York motor show.


Like its G70 and G80 sedan stablemates, the big SUV sports a scaled-up version of Genesis’ signature ‘Crest Grille’ with quad headlights set low in comparison while an aggressive looking chin and flanking air ducts add a whiff of sportiness to the affair.


According to HMG chief design officer Luc Donckerwolke, the GV80 exudes and demonstrates a new take on the brand’s ‘Athletic Elegance’ design principles.


“We enjoyed the challenge to apply ‘Athletic Elegance’ design language to SUV architecture,” he said.


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


Side-on, this underlying impression of sportiness is reinforced by what designers describe as ‘power lines’ above each wheel as well as the swooping roof and window lines.


The body itself is made from a combination of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium in an effort to make the GV80 both as strong and light as possible and keep it competitive with its German and Japanese rivals.


Inside the cabin, the interior has been kept clean and simple with the priority being to maximise the sense of space.


As such there are only a handful of buttons and dials on the dash and centre console – the most prominent being the gear selector – with most other functions accessed and controlled via a 14.5-inch, split-screen infotainment display.


Genesis head of design SangYup Lee said the concept of the ‘beauty of white space’ was a hallmark of Korean design and that it defined the GV80’s interior.


“We were able to express a luxurious feel for the interior of GV80 through reductive design and channelling the Korean roots of the Genesis brand,” he said.


Building on the cabin’s sense of simple luxury, Genesis has put a lot of work into maximising comfort and convenience for occupants with the GV80 debuting the world’s first application of Road-Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) technology.


Designed to minimise road noise, the system uses digital signal processing to generate “sound waves of opposite phases in 0.002 seconds by analysing road noise in real time”.


Other features include an advanced satellite navigation system, active motion driver’s seat, heated and ventilated seats in the first two rows and a built-in air freshener.



Fitted with 10 airbags as standard, Genesis says advanced safety is not an option and so the GV80 sports a plethora of active safety features which, according to Mr Biermann, not only protects occupants in a crash but prevents one from happening in the first place.


Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning, Highway Driving Assist II, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Driver Attention Alert Warning are all fitted as standard.


Last year Genesis sold 103 vehicles in total with the G70 and G80 accounting for just 0.6 and 0.4 per cent of their respective $60,000+ medium and $70,000+ large sedan markets.

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