Exact timing and pricing is yet to be confirmed for the Genesis GV80, but the South Korean luxury brand has confirmed that Australia will be offered three engine options. 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. The latter represents the first engine of its kind in decades to do battle with BMW’s versatile diesel six.
Beyond the confirmed engines, a GV80 variant packing the company’s 5.0-litre V8 may also appear later in the model’s lifecycle – but has yet to be confirmed by the Genesis.
Measuring up with dimensions similar to the BMW X5, the GV80 is hunting a slice of the luxury SUV market and will compete with rivals that include the LexusRX, the German trio of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5 and Audi Q7, as well as other Euros such as the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC 90.
Bolted on the back of each engine is an eight-speed automatic transmission which sends power to all four wheels. The GV80 is also the first model to roll on the new Genesis rear-drive platform, referred to in house as its ‘M3’ architecture. A rear drive power bias has imparted better driving dynamics, says its maker.
An electronically controlled limited slip differential is also standard fitment for the rear axle, allowing better traction on and off the road according to Genesis. It combines with three Multi-Terrain Control driving modes for tackling mud, sand and snow.
Power figures for the petrol powertrains are yet to be confirmed but the diesel will arrive packing a decent 204kW power punch, along with 588Nm of torque.
Both five and seven-seat GV80 variants will be on offer as well as a variety of customisation options to boost the luxury and styling appeal, although Genesis Australia is expected to introduce the model already equipped with a generous list of features as standard.
On the inside the minimalist but opulent cabin has extensive leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, a 14.5-inch central touchscreen and corresponding touchscreen for the climate control with haptic feedback.
The company’s engineers have also developed a new noise cancellation system which uses six microphones placed about the cabin to monitor and actively counter road and wind noise. There’s even a function that plays the voices of front row occupants through the third row speakers so no one needs to shout
A head-up display is standard fare but is supplemented by an augmented navigation system which uses a forward facing camera to display an image on the central screen which has navigation commands graphically overlaid for even easier directions.
Comfort is enhanced via front seats that feature seven inflatable air pockets that can be used to adjust the seating position, but can also automatically alter pressures to ensure the occupant’s weight is more evenly supported.
And, in addition to the usual flotilla of airbags, including curtain and knee bags, the GV80 has a new central airbag between the front seats which reduces the chance of injuries caused by occupants contacting each other in a collision.
There’s even a cabin air purifier which can remove 99 percent of fine particles from the interior - something many Australian will appreciate given the current national climate.
On the outside, the GV80 is shod with wheels measuring up to 22 inches, headlights are full LED complemented by LED daytime running lights and dynamic indicators, there’s a large split sunroof and a choice of 11 exterior colours - which includes satin metallic finishes - are likely to be on the optional extras list. Customers can choose from five interior colours and seemingly unlimited permutations of wood and other interior materials.
Driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control which will actually slow the car for fixed speed cameras in Korea (Australia is less likely to get this feature), lane keep assist keeps the car 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.
The GV80 will join the G70 and G80 sedans in local showrooms in the middle of the year. A new smaller SUV will follow the GV80 although is not yet confirmed for Australia. There are currently no plans to introduce the larger G90 limousine that is on sale in South Korea.