Genesis, the fledgeling luxury brand owned and created by Hyundai, has revealed its ever-crucial first SUV, the GV80, which is set to take on the likes of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE at a far more reasonable price point.

Slated to begin rolling off showroom floors around halfway through the year, while the existence of the GV80 was certainly known, not only had its looks not yet been officially revealed but neither had its engine options, even if there was an inkling of what would be seen.

While a 226kW turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 283kW twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 petrol engines are hardly surprising – the four-pot is likely to be related to what will soon be found in the North American-spec Hyundai Sonata N-Line, while the V6 is an evolution of the engine found in the Kia Stinger and various other models including Genesis’ own G70, the real surprise that has come today is what the first engine available at launch will be – a 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-diesel.

Following in the footsteps of its key rivals at BMW and Mercedes in offering some form of straight-six under the bonnet, this 204kW/588Nm oiler will no doubt be the smart choice for those in countries it’ll be available in – of which the diesel-fearing US isn’t one – given its claimed combined fuel consumption of as little as 8.5L/100km. Australia and its homeland of South Korea have been confirmed to receive it, however.

Information regarding what transmissions it will feature is still scarce, but there is evidence to support a new, in-house eight-speed dual-clutch automatic potentially debuting in the GV80. Don’t be surprised if some variants do feature an eight-speed torque converter auto instead like the rest of the current Genesis lineup.

However, both rear- and all-wheel drive variants will be available, which is also worth noting as the all-new platform underpinning this new SUV will also be what the next-gen G80 will be based upon, which is expected to be revealed towards the end of this year. All-wheel drive variants, it should be noted, will feature an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential and have specific drive modes for tackling sand, mud, and snow.

Inside, the GV80 certainly looks to be pretty feature-packed, sporting a massive and all-new 14.5-inch infotainment system with augmented reality satellite navigation, that also allows for real-time diagnostics of any electronic or mechanical issues that may arise in the car, a fully-digital instrument cluster, and an array of plush trimmings including quilted leather and wood in an interior that embodies classic South Korean architectural themes, with a focus on “the beauty of white space.” Both five and seven-seat configurations will be available.

It also features some incredibly advanced active safety and driving assistance tech, including AI-based Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning and Highway Driving Assist II; front, rear, and blind-spot Collision Avoidance Assist; and Road-Noise Active Noise Control, which uses digital signal processing to analyse road-noise being heard in the cabin in real time while playing opposing frequencies to cancel it out.

Pricing for markets outside of its homeland is still yet to be revealed, although it has been confirmed that the launch version of the diesel GV80 will start at ₩65,000,000 which is equivalent to around US$56,000 or AU$81,000. Full Australian specifications beyond the confirmation of all three engines and initial delivery dates are also yet to be confirmed, although expect it to arrive here around July.

The GV80 isn’t the only SUV bearing a winged Genesis badge you’ll soon be seeing on the roads, either, as the brand has also confirmed a smaller GV60 likely based on the Hyundai Tucson, along with a coupé-SUV rival to the BMW X4 with the GV70 eventually as well.

Patrick Jackson
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