This vehicle is the first of three new SUVs in Hyundai’s Genesis brand set to be released in the coming years. The GV80, in direct competition with the BMW X5, is slated for release later this year, we’re guessing as a 2020 model. The second vehicle in production is the GV60 SUV, smaller than the GV80, will be most closely compared to the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Last but certainly not least on the developmental slate is the GV70, which will stand up against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
Test engineers have been spotted in test vehicles with the new mechanics masked beneath the body of a Hyundai Santa Fe. An excellent way to camouflage a new release. Based on the modifications made to the body of the Santa Fe, we can deduce that the Genesis GV80 will be a longer and wider. This theory was proven correct when the prototype form was later released.
Recent videos and spy shots revealed the GV80 will have a very similar appearance to the Genesis GV80 concept introduced back in 2017 at the New York International Auto Show. It’s looking like the sharp design and product name will make it all the way through production. Let’s break down the meaning of the name. The G represents the Genesis brand, while the V represents the versatility of an SUV. Lastly, the 80 represents the mid-size of the G80 sedan at the top of Genesis’ lineup.
If the concept and prototype are accurate, then be sure to expect a muscular and imposing final look. The vehicle boasts hints of the Bentley Bentayga. This is to be expected since Genesis’ design chief, Luc Donckerwolke, moved over from Bentley to Genesis.
If you look closely enough at the newest set of photos, you can catch a glimpse at the highly anticipated interior. Genesis is clearly careful not to give too much away, but they also reveal just enough to fuel the imagination. The interior is largely masked with cloth shielding the design and technology. But, there is one feature that is slightly distinguishable, a set of round dials located on the center console. At first glance, they look quite similar to the BMW iDrive-style controllers, but closer inspection reveals these dials may have some sort of display features.
We’ve already graciously been given a look at the immaculate 2020 G90 interior. We’re hoping the GV80 follows a similar interior design standard. These first reveals hint at some different design elements. Namely the steering wheel and visible controllers. There are three features we would consider a given: leather interior, a large infotainment screen, and open-pore wood. These seem to be a hallmark trait of the Genesis design.
We’re venturing to guess that with these test mules, the platform could have a similar style to the Santa Fe but perhaps with a longer frame. The current design showcases a shorter front over hang but a long dash to axle ratio. These elements make us think this could potentially be a rear-wheel-drive platform.
This would make quite a bit of sense seeing as how the G80 features a similar platform. Genesis’ is working hard to distinguish their vehicles from Hyundai and has added rear-drive underpinnings to give a specific distinctiveness to their lineup. We are expecting a unique platform, especially with Genesis going so far as to launch a new dedicated dealer network to separate itself for their parent company.
One of the early test mules had a document attached to a window, which indicated a potential new 3.5 liter V-6 being developed. The document also stated that the test mule had all-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission. There’s also rumors floating around that a 365 horse-power turbocharged 3.3 liter V-6 could also appear in both the G70 and G80. Genesis has also hinted at a hybrid plug in option somewhere down the road. Whatever the features wind up being, that test drive video shows incredible handling and we can’t wait to drive it.
It took a little time, but Genesis finally decided to jump into the SUV race in order to keep up with its competitors. They really didn’t have much of a choice. Focusing on Sedans doesn’t make sense when the consumer market is largely purchasing SUVs at the moment. In our opinion, the release of the GV80 better hurry up. Genesis needs to pull out all of the stops if it expects to compete with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, especially with their redesign announcements made in the last year. However, if the models end up being anything like the concept designs, then we’re sure Genesis will do just fine.