After maintaining for years that it will not create a separate luxury badge, Hyundai went ahead and did just that last year. It announced a luxury spin-off under the name of Genesis, which until then was the name of its mid-size premium saloon. And the first model was the G90, which mirrored the styling of the 2016 Genesis, but essentially replaced the Centennial, which used to be Hyundai’s flagship saloon. Now, the Korean carmaker has revealed its second model in the Genesis line-up, dubbed the 2017 Genesis G80. Whereas the G90 was an all-new car, the G80 is basically a 2017 model year version of last year’s Genesis saloon, but with a new name and mild upgrades.
The subtle updates include a tweaked grille and bumpers up front and full-LED taillights at the back. Under the bonnet is the familiar 3.8-litre V6 from Hyundai’s lambda family of engines, or the 5.0-litre V8 from the Tau series. While the V8 churns out 420 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 520Nm of torque at 5,000rpm, the V6 produces 311 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 397Nm of torque at5,000 rpm,
In the official announcement, Genesis draws direct comparisons between the G80 and more established rivals like the Lexus GS, BMW 5 series, Cadillac CTS, Audi A6 and Volvo S90 in terms of space, performance, and safety features. Genesis also points out that durability and high-performance credentials have been put to the test at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which have led to precise calibration of ride, braking and handling characteristics. It also boasts a rigid chassis, fully-independent, five-link front and rear suspension and a good 52:48 front-to-rear weight distribution ratio.
Available with all-wheel drive in both the variants, the G80 also gets a host of safety and convenience features such as automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, along with electronic stability control, energy-absorbing front seats and nine airbags.
Last year’s Genesis saloon impressed us with its great mix of style, comfort and dynamics. If the changes effected here have made a positive difference to all those aspects, then you’re looking at a great premium saloon that can hold its own against the established European, American and Japanese marques.