The current Genesis G80 is a damned good car, especially in Sport trim. Okay, so it's not a road razor like its baby brother, the G70, nor is it as luxurious as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But it is a remarkably good all-'rounder that's quick, cushy, and handsome. But it's time for a redesign after twelve years, and Genesis pulled off the covers of the brand new G80 via full-fledged photos (since it's actual debut was halted by the shuttering of the Geneva Motor Show thanks to the Coronavirus).
For the second coming of the G80 (third, if you count when the G80 was the Hyundai Genesis), the brand did not hold back. We find it positively breathtaking. Rather than evolutionary, the redesign is as thorough as it gets without totally abandoning the identity of the model. But rather than a larger version of the G70 sports sedan or a smaller version of the big G90 flagship luxury sedan, the G80 carves its own path. Here's everything we know about the new beauty from the South Korean premium brand.
The New Design is Called "Athletic Elegance"
Probably the first thing you notice about it is the thematic twin-bar Quadlamp lights that extend from the headlights to the fender trim and then in the long taillights. The entire vehicle uses what Genesis calls "athletic elegance", and we have to agree that the new G80 is properly creased and contoured to look lithe and strong at the same time without overdoing things. , and the very original concave rear fascia is just stunning with the long wraparound taillights set right in.
Although the body lines look kind of like the Mercedes CLS four-door coupe, and the sloping roofline reminds us of the original Audi A7, the G80 still manages to look original and very attractive. We think it's the brand's best looking vehicle to date. It's more fluid and has more presence than the G70 sports sedan and way better than the overdone G90.
The Grille is the Brand's Best Version
The grille on the new G80 is pretty much the same as the one on the upcoming GV80 SUV. It's not overly large, nor is it overstyled. The G90's is just way too big and not proportional to the fascia and the rest of the car, while the G80's is tastefully done with that mesh pattern and the creased hood that extends back from the top corners of the grille.
Although the shield-like shape of the grille isn't especially original, it is strong and well-executed. Audi's is flatter at the base, as is Bentley's. No other brand has a grille that drops down into the lower fascia in quite this manner (BMW will probably do it but way uglier), and we love it. Kudos to Genesis for taking such risks.
THE INTERIOR IS SLICK AND SUMPTUOUS
We're almost more impressed by the interior shots of the G80 than the exterior. The cabin looks positively regal while remaining restrained and well-sculpted. It's transcendent compared to the practical interior of the current G80. Long, fluid lines extend throughout the cabin, and the materials look stunning. The new G80 cabin gets an enormous 14.5-inch infotainment screen that rises from the top of the dash, and a beautifully-executed center stack is wide and clean. The matte ash wood everywhere is some of the best we've seen. Let's hope they feel as good as they look.
We're still not sure if we like the steering wheel hub, which is a huge departure from what Genesis currently has, even in the redesigned G90 luxury sedan. It's an interesting 2.5-spoke hub that's unlike anything we've come across on any brand, another way to set themselves apart. The shifter is a rotary version, versus a push-button (thank goodness), and there's a digital instrument cluster for speedo and tach. Genesis stated, "care was taken to reduce the thickness of the A-pillars and the size of the rearview mirror," which should improve visibility over the current model.
Power Should be Plentiful
Details about the powertrain haven't been confirmed, but we expect it to pull engines from the GV80 SUV. These equate to a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, along with a 3.5-liter V6 with over 370 horses, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and powering either the rear wheels or optionally all four in all-wheel drive configuration. We'll definitely provide more details and photos as Genesis releases them. We simply can't wait to experience the new Genesis G80 in the flesh when it comes to our shores.