It’s been just over a couple of years since Genesis delinked itself from the Hyundai brand and became a standalone premium marque. We’ve already sampled the G90 and the G80 saloons and are eagerly looking forward to lay our hands on the smaller G70 as soon as it lands here. While these saloons are sure to bring in customers in decent numbers, Genesis knows well that it can’t expect to have long-term success without SUVs in its lineup. That’s why the upmarket Korean brand revealed the GV80 concept at last year’s New York International Auto Show, previewing Genesis-branded utility vehicles expected to hit the markets by the end of this decade.
This week, our photographer has managed to snap a test mule of what appears to be the mid-size GV80 SUV doing the developmental testing rounds. Although it’s masked under a makeshift Hyundai santa Fe body, there are many hints to this being a Genesis. All four wheels have the Genesis logo on their centra caps. And it’s apparent that the front end has been extended with the fenders and bonnet looking stretched compared to a Santa Fe’s. An information sheet stuck on the rear window reveals a few other details including that it’s all-wheel drive, the transmission is automatic and that the engine is a 3.5-litre V6. This could mean that a new engine is being developed to power the SUV range, because most V6 Genesis and Hyundai vehicles are powered by either a 3.8-litre engine or one that displaces 3.3 litres.
Expected to go on sale in 2019, the GV80 could be joined by a smaller GV70 eventually and possibly a larger GV90 too. Watch this space for updates.