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  • 2020 Genesis GV80 First Look – Luxury Brand’s First-Ever SUV

2020 Genesis GV80 First Look – Luxury Brand’s First-Ever SUV

Two Turbo Engines, Rear- or All-Wheel Drive, and Bold Styling for Korean Luxe SUV

Jan 17, 2020
Photo 2/12   |   2020 Genesis Gv80 Exterior Studio Rear Quarter

The 2020 Genesis GV80 is on its way, giving the Korean luxury brand its first-ever sport-utility vehicle. Sized similarly to the 2020 BMW X5 and 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE, the GV80 offers a lot of style to give Genesis a fighting chance in the hot midsize luxury SUV segment.

2020 Genesis GV80 Styling and Design

The GV80 is one of the first vehicles to receive a holistic interpretation of the Genesis brand's design ethos, "Athletic Elegance." Most obviously, the SUV gets a bold front grille recalling that of the recently facelifted G90 sedan, bookended by razor-thin quad headlights that will become a styling hallmark for the brand. The shield-shaped grille and downward-sloping "parabolic line" bodyside surfacing impart a vaguely English flavor. Further Anglo comparisons will be found around back, where a distinct concavity on the liftgate and ducktail under the rear glass seem to have been cribbed directly from the Bentley Bentayga.
Nevertheless, the exterior is fairly well composed, thanks in part to a rear-wheel-drive platform with sportier proportions than some front-drive competitors like the Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RX. And while the quad headlamps look a bit generic, they're paired with twin fender vents and quad taillights that rest on the same visual plane, giving the 2020 Genesis GV80 a cohesive design.
Photo 3/12   |   2020 Genesis Gv80 Interior Dashboard

K-Spa Tranquility

Photo 4/12   |   2020 Genesis Gv80 Interior Front Cabin

Genesis says the interior of the GV80 was inspired by "the beauty of white space," which is a Korean architectural philosophy characterized by reductive and minimalist design. Sleek, thin HVAC vents emphasize width, as does a thin 14.5-inch infotainment display mounted high on the dash. The center console houses both a rotary-style shift selector and a circular infotainment controller, both of which are adorned in a lacy "G-Matrix" design the company says is inspired by the refractions of light shining through a diamond.

A two-spoke steering wheel looks very much like that of a 1970s American luxury car, and we're not complaining. There's lots of quilted leather in the interior, as well. And if materials are an improvement over the already-fine Genesis G90 sedan, the GV80 should be a very pleasant place to watch the miles trip by. A third-row seat that splits 50:50 is optional.
A variety of luxury features helps the 2020 Genesis GV80 provide as comfortable a driving experience as possible. The company says the SUV's Road Active Noise Cancellation is a world-first technology using digital signal processing, although our Luddite minds aren't sure how that's different from existing noise cancellation tech. An available active motion driver's seat incorporates seven air cells into the seat, presumably for massage and adjustable lumbar and bolster support. The driver can also scoot and fold the passenger's seat forward, opening up more space for a chauffeured rear-seat VIP.

"Go-Anywhere Versatility"

The 2020 Genesis GV80 will offer two different powertrains in the U.S.: a 2.5L turbocharged I-4 producing 290 hp and 311 lb-ft and a new 3.5L twin-turbo V-6 that will replace the 3.3L unit currently found in the Genesis lineup. Expect the latter engine to offer at least 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both will be mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions, paired either to rear- or all-wheel drive. Overseas markets will also have an available 3.0L turbodiesel I-6, but the company specifically said such a powertrain would not come to the U.S. Pity.
Photo 5/12   |   2020 Genesis Gv80 Exterior Front Quarter Off Road
Helping the GV80 achieve its claimed go-anywhere credibility is a standard limited-slip differential on the rear axle of all-wheel-drive models. What's more, the Genesis will feature road preview for the electronically controlled suspension, a company first. Road preview uses the forward-facing camera system to detect and predict potholes and other road imperfections, smoothing out the ride without resorting to a wallowy, soft suspension.
Photo 6/12   |   2020 Genesis Gv80 Exterior Front Quarter Road Sensing

2020 Genesis GV80 Safety Features

Genesis claims that each of its vehicles offers an unmatched level of standard safety features, and the GV80 will be no exception. The GV80 will feature active collision avoidance tech on the blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert system, and forward collision monitoring. What's more, parent company Hyundai's Highway Driving Assist feature has been enhanced for the GV80, operating in a wider variety of situations including lane-change assistance and freeway merging. Ten standard airbags, including an inflatable cushion between the front-seat occupants, help passengers walk away from those "whoopsies" that the active safety tech isn't able to avoid.
One notable new technology available in the 2020 Genesis GV80 is the slightly scary-sounding Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning. Like other adaptive cruise control systems, it uses sensors to detect and match speed with the vehicle ahead, but it also incorporates artificial intelligence to learn the driving characteristics of the owner and implement human-like behavior. In the future, this type of technology will enable autonomous vehicles to operate more like regular drivers, reducing risky driving situations without necessarily cramping other drivers' styles. Just as long as Cyberdyne Systems doesn't get involved.

Coming Soon?

The 2020 Genesis GV80 has been unveiled for its domestic market already, but the company doesn't have an official North American launch date in mind. Expect more details to come when a U.S.-spec GV80 is revealed, possibly coinciding with Genesis' presence at the Big Game. When the SUV finally does appear in U.S. showrooms—possibly as a 2021 model—expect it to go toe to toe with the BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. It should undercut each of those in price by a bit, starting at about $48,000.
Source: Genesis

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