When Hyundai decided to spin off Genesis into a standalone luxury brand a few years ago, the newly formed company didn’t actually have any of its own models separate from the mainstream Hyundai marque. The company’s first two models were the G90 and G80, but these were nothing more than heavily upgraded versions of the Hyundai Equus and Genesis, respectively. The bigger of the two sedans got a comprehensive update late 2018 before arriving for the 2020MY in the United States. Now, it’s the G80’s turn for a complete makeover.
Genesis dropped several revealing images of the 2021 G80 at the beginning of the month, but the BMW 5 Series rival is going to be unveiled in full later today during a digital-only premiere. If you’re wondering why the show will take place from 11 PM Eastern, an impossible hour not just for Americans but also for Europeans (3 AM GMT tomorrow morning), it’s because the reveal event will primarily target the domestic market South Korea where it will be noon.
Say what you will about the car’s exterior appearance, but you have to admit it’s entirely original and the design philosophy first implemented in the GV80 works arguably better on its sedan sibling. The overhauled G80 with its “two-line” lighting theme is a breath of fresh air in a segment dominated by the Germans. The luxury SUV has also lent its interior as the images released so far by Genesis with the new G80 have shown a borderline identical dashboard with a generous 14.5-inch infotainment system taking center stage.
We’ll have to wait for the livestream to kick off in order to learn about the oily bits, but there’s a pretty good chance these will be borrowed from the GV80, including the rear-wheel-drive-based platform. Genesis touts the G80 as being an “all-new” model, so aside from the revamped design, the technical specifications should also be quite different than those of the outgoing model.
Genesis is on a roll in the United States as the newcomer in the luxury segment more than doubled its sales last year from 10,311 in 2018 to 21,233 despite having a sedan-only lineup in an SUV-obsessed world. With the new GV80 about to hit the market and a smaller GV70 in the works, the brand appears to have a bright future up ahead. Genesis is also thinking about developing a larger GV90 to go after the BMW X7 and has already confirmed an electric SUV is in the works.