What’s in a name? Genesis has revealed its latest high-performance large sedan and the next generation in the G80 bloodline, but it comes just weeks after the international launch of the similarly named GV80 large SUV.
Are there any parallels to be drawn between these ambitious new models or does the family resemblance end at the winged bonnet badge? They may be drastically different models on the outside, but there’s more shared DNA under fundamentally aesthetics than you might expect.
Genesis in the Australian market
For a start, Australian launch timing is similar. While the GV80 is due to touch down in the middle of the year, the G80 will follow soon after in the second half - expect third quarter. Exact timing is expected soon along with local pricing which is yet to be provided for either.
One key difference, however, lies in the market each respective model will compete in.
As a large luxury SUV, the GV80 can expect a reasonable amount of attention, even as a relatively unknown challenger brand - price depending, of course.
The G80, however, enters a far more challenging market with sedans of all sizes copping a significant decline with no signs of a reversal on the horizon.
While Genesis Australia anticipates the GV80 to be the more popular model, a spokesperson said other models are still important in the line-up.
“We do not see the G70 sports sedan and G80 executive sedan as volume models, rather they are cars that will help establish the Genesis brand in Australia as part of a comprehensive product portfolio. SUVs will play a very important part in the growth and future success of the Genesis luxury brand in Australia,” the company explained.
“We believe the new G80 will hold strong appeal to private customers looking for attractive design, immense refinement, superb comfort and exceptional performance in a large luxury sedan.”
Genesis G80 - the major mechanicals
Like the GV80, the second generation G80 rolls on the company’s all-new M3 (no relation) rear-wheel-drive platform that also underpins the SUV.
Subsequently, the G80 shares a similar footprint with the GV80 (below) and the longitudinal engine layout coupled with eight-speed, in-house-designed automatic transmission.
Exact variants offered in Australia are yet to be defined but, like the GV80, there will be a choice of rear-drive variants as well as all-wheel drive, that you’ll most likely find at the more powerful end of the scale.
Regardless of the model, and like every model from parent Hyundai, all Genesis vehicles will have their chassis tuned for our unique local conditions with several disguised prototypes already circulating locally.
Genesis G80 and GV80 engines
Speaking of which, the choice of power plants offered in the G80 aligns almost exactly with the GV80 line-up.
A 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol will open proceedings with 223kW and 421Nm, while a turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol will offer the performance hero for now with 279kW/530Nm.
The first GV80s will arrive in Australia with a new in-line six-cylinder diesel engine
The key deviation away from the GV80 offerings is in the sole diesel offering. While the SUV competes with an impressive all-new in-line 3.0-litre six-cylinder motor, the G80 diesel will pack a 2.2-litre four-cylinder with 154kW and 441Nm.
READ MORE: Genesis GV80 review
For now, there is no news regarding a mighty V8 to replace the previous-generation G80 halo, but Genesis has been vocal about a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 it has at its disposal, and the unit could find its way under the bonnet of either model in the future.
No performance or fuel economy figures have yet been revealed regarding any of the engine options.
Genesis G80/GV80 technology
Perhaps the greatest similarity between the pair lies in their technology and driver assistance systems - a key area Genesis is trying to stand out and upstage other more established brands in the premium arena, and often succeeding.
As showcased by the GV80 in January, the G80 has many of the large SUV’s talking-point toys including the cool 3D digital instrument cluster which cleverly creates a sense of depth for the gauges without having to don a set of special spectacles.
There’s also the smart augmented reality navigation system that imposes directions and other route information over an actual image of the way ahead for easier instructions.
The G80 will also perform the cool remote parking feature that the GV80 can execute using just the key fob from outside the vehicle, and there are the huge digital displays as a centrepiece to the cabin.
The first, measuring 12.3 inches provides the instrument cluster, while a second 14.5-inch screen is positioned centrally for all the information and entertainment functions.
Those include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, over-the-air software updates, while all the usual phone and device connectivity functions are added to by home connectivity capability as well.
READ MORE: Genesis G70 review
The generous equipment parallels continue into safety and driver assistance. Ten airbags are standard fare including one centrally that prevents passengers colliding with each other.
An advanced adaptive cruise control system can perform lane changes simply by flicking an indicator and actually learns your typical driving behaviour and style.
With this information, the G80 can adapt and perform semi-autonomous driving in a manner similar to the way its most frequent driver would respond.
Genesis G80 and GV80 interior
As you might expect, you won’t find a cabin as spacious as the GV80 with a smaller boot and reduced headroom and there’s no seven-seat option, but there is still space for five adults aboard the new G80.
As per the GV80, a wide range of cabin customisation options will be available dependant on the global region and local tastes.
Along with a selection of high-quality materials and colour choices, the G80 cabin is equipped with extensive leather upholstery or soft-touch materials where there is none, and premium open-pore wood finishes.
Old Genesis G80 vs new G80
Perhaps the most significant difference, for now, is that the new G80 is not available with the strong 5.0-litre petrol V8 that the first generation model headlined with.
That said, the newest turbo V6 comes close to its 313kW output and beats the V8's torque output by 10Nm.
Nor does the range offer any naturally aspirated V6 engines of which there were two in the original model. The good news is that the new model has lost up to 125kg over the outgoing version and that spells better performance, lower fuel consumption and sharpened dynamics regardless of the engine type.
Improved construction methods have reduced cabin noise over the previous version and a new forward-looking camera scans the road ahead for imperfections and automatically softens the electronically adaptive suspension accordingly.
READ MORE: The guide book of Genesis
Overall exterior dimensions have grown marginally, but there’s an incrementally bigger growth for the interior with the seats positioned lower. This has resulted in more cabin space as well as an overall lower centre of gravity for enhanced comfort and handling characteristics.