THE FIRST TIME I caught a glimpse of the 2021 Genesis GV80’s grille – a nice wide pentagonal window with a chainmail insert – reminded me to call my friend Rob. He’s a trademark lawyer.
Don’t we all see the resemblance to the front acre of a Cadillac? Why is that? The legally defined shapes and geometries of so-called down-the-road graphics are the most sacred intellectual property of car brands, usually defended by lawyers with chainsaws and hockey masks.
Genesis, Hyundai’s premium/luxury brand that has been around for six years, even coined the term Crest grille – you know, like the Cadillac Crest, the world standard? And the worst part is, the GV80 looks great. It will leave a taste in GM’s mouth like cat shit toothpaste.
Genesis’ brand strategy depends to varying degrees on a kind of Kitchen Sink maximalism.
The GV80 ($48,900 to $70,950, plus $1,025 delivery charge) is a two- or three-row mid-size truck that shares the company’s rear-wheel-drive platform with the excellent 2021 G80 sedan, as well as many technical details: a choice of two engines – a 300-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 375-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 – an eight-speed automatic transmission, and optional rear-wheel-drive convertible-less.
In my December report, I compared the G80 3.5T Prestige ($68,050 on test) to a nuclear Godzilla emitting Chernekov radiation and trampling Stuttgart and Munich with flames (so to speak). In the meantime, Genesis’ warranty and maintenance protection is second to none.
MATERIAL, GIRL The cabs of the GV80 are equipped as standard with a 14.5-inch touchscreen and a third front airbag. The Prestige trim level offers consumers luxury in the form of nappa leather upholstered seats, brushed wood and grained leather trim on the dashboard and doors.
For most Americans in this price range, the only factor that rules out the G80 would be the fact that it’s not an SUV. There you go. In fact, it is now. The GV80 fulfills a long-held desire of Genesis dealers for Chelsea tractors. It will soon be joined by the small GV70 and the large GV90, although the latter is yet to be confirmed.
If you’re looking, mom and dad, keep in mind that the GV80’s third-row seats are quite cramped and difficult to access. If you regularly need three rows of seating and like what you see here, maybe you’ll wait for the GV90?
For all those who want it, the GV80 is a real boost, especially in the 3.5T Prestige version. A twin-turbo V6 with new dual direct injection provides plenty of torque (391 lb-ft at 1300-4500 rpm), while an eight-speed automatic transmission is perfectly suited to the job. It goes from zero to 100 mph in 5.3 seconds, with two well-tuned climbs.
When you put the GV80 into Sport mode and downshift manually, you no longer have to deal with the rapid hum of the engine at high revs – a digitally remastered soundtrack plays through the speakers. Release the accelerator and the active noise cancellation of the audio system brings peace and quiet to the interior. Why are you shouting?
To varying degrees, the Genesis brand strategy depends on some sort of maximalist countertop. Take the landing gear and suspension of the GV80. Aluminium die-cast front and rear, aluminium stabiliser bars and subframes; quad adaptive shock absorbers linked to road camera vision; rear wheel drive system with rear electronic limited slip differential. Steering gear with variable transmission ratio; automatic locking DSA. Our luxury car rides on 22-inch forged aluminum wheels, which more than should overshadow the ride comfort. Why 22? Because they don’t match the 23.
ADJUSTMENT AND STRENGTHENING The GV80 Prestige features a unique 3D grouping that uses eye tracking to adjust and enhance the viewer’s perception.
Either way, the GV80 is a carefully designed luxury SUV with no excuses other than price.
Industry Note, Deep Path Publishing : Hyundai has its own high-tech steel plant in Ulsan, South Korea, specifically designed to develop high-strength steel monocoque structures. This optimization reduces the weight of the vehicle because less steel is needed for the same task. For the same reason, smart steel also means more interior space.
It’s a short and conceptually simple journey from the chimneys of Ulsan to the visibly open and airy cockpit of the GV80. The seats are wide and padded. Elbows have air to breathe. The interior theme is derived from the Korean art concept of negative space – the beauty of white space, said SangYup Lee, senior vice president and director of the Hyundai Global Design Center.
For example: The dashboard is relatively low and so far away that the 14.5-inch touchscreen, located on top, is almost out of reach. That means you can count on the elegant Genesis rotary controller with handwriting recognition. Here’s my peace of mind.
The front vent is a simple and elegant horizontal opening between strips of French fabric, contrasting leather or metal trim that runs across the cabin like a tide line. Curved shapes wrapped in leather splinter the upper and lower door panels. It should be noted that our test car was fully equipped in the Prestige trim, which includes quilted Nappa leather seat covers, suede aprons and trim, soft-closing doors and a strange Mirage-style three-dimensional dashboard. In addition to the dark, raised dashboard, a third front airbag is designed to prevent the driver and front passenger from colliding in an accident. Good.
Compared to the G80, the look of the GV80 is a little less intelligent, a little more obvious. If chromium were cholesterol, GV80 would be well above 200.
I imagine most regular drivers will say, perhaps in an annoying way, that the GV80 is trying to look like a Bentley Bentayga SUV and not a Cadillac. As evidence, they point to the fact that Hyundai creative director Luke Donkervolk and Mr Lee both worked on the Bentayga when they were still at Bentley.
I don’t see it. Bentayga just wanted an elegant silhouette of the GV80, a long hood and a big bow. I know Cadillac would kill for that grid.
2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T Prestige AWD
VISIBILITY The mid-size Genesis GV80 is easy to spot at night thanks to the quadruple lights that wrap around the front corners of the vehicle. The double bar detail is repeated on the side markings of the front wing and again on the wraparound rear lights.
Base Price : $48,900
Price as verified: $72,375
Powertrain: 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with dual direct injection and variable valve timing; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive with rear electronic limited slip differential.
Power/torque: 375 hp at 5800 rpm/391 lb-ft at 1300-4500 rpm.
Length/width/height/wheelbase: 194.7/77.8/67.5/116.3 in.
Own weight: 5,104 lbs.
Maximum towing capacity: 6,000 pounds.
0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds (car and driver)
EPA fuel economy: 18/23/20 mpg
Hold: 34.9/84.0 cubic meters, behind the 2nd/1st. Series
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