Published: Sat, January 18, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Hyundai unveils first Genesis SUV in renewed overseas premium push

Hyundai unveils first Genesis SUV in renewed overseas premium push

The reveal took place this week in South Korea, where the GV80 will go on sale much sooner than it will stateside. "As we launch GV80, our first luxury flagship SUV, we simultaneously open a new chapter for Genesis". The luxury SUV is based on the GV80 Concept first shown at the 2017 NY auto show, and it gets several segment-first features, including an electronically controlled suspension with road preview and active noise control.

In case you were wondering, the "V" in GV80 stands for "versatility".

The GV80 is essentially the production-spec version of the GV80 concept shown at the 2017 NY auto show. And the Genesis GV80 emphasizes that Korea is clearly aiming at the German premium brands - and on track to reach beyond them. Regardless, the standard GV80 will come with rear-wheel-drive only, though Genesis will also offer an upgrade to all-wheel-drive for interested customers.

Genesis says the South Korean GV80 should be headed to dealerships there later in January. The front is dominated by the company's signature "crest" grille, flanked by a quad-headlight setup, and the sides comprise of a prominent shoulder line that runs the length of the vehicle. The relatively light body is largely made from thermoformed high-strength steels, doors and hoods are executed in aluminium.

The interiors sport a neat and minimalist look, with the large 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system taking centre stage. The presence of soft materials and less use of physical buttons further enhance the aesthetic and upmarket appeal. The model is expected to be the part of the strong line up that shall result in the expansion of the brand in both Europe and China where it still has to penetrate considerably.

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The center console is equipped with the Genesis Integrated Controller with a handwriting recognition system.

The package GV80 includes active noise cancellation, suspension with electronic control and a number of new elements. The GV80 also features the world's first application of Road-Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) technology. Two seating configurations will be available; a five-seat layout, and a three-row setup.

As an authentic Genesis, GV80 is based on a unique rear-wheel-drive platform; all-wheel drive is optional. The range kicks off with a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol, a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol that'll be the performance halo (for now), while a 3.0-litre turbo diesel inline-six rounds out the trio. This draws information from the forward-facing camera that scans the road ahead, and the suspension then adapts accordingly for providing optimal ride comfort, says Genesis. Depending on the market, two engines will also be available.

Driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control which will actually slow the vehicle for fixed speed cameras in Korea (Australia is less likely to get this feature), lane keep assist keeps the auto centred in its lane, automatic lane changes can be initiated with a flick of the indicator and a driver fatigue warning system actually monitors the driver's level of attention with a camera.

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