Genesis GV80 debuts as world's latest luxury SUV

feedback@motor1.com (Christopher Smith)
2020 Genesis GV80

It couldn't come soon enough for Genesis.

It’s been a long road for Genesis and its new GV80, and that's from an outside perspective in the realm of automotive media. Just imagine how it’s been for Genesis executives, watching an SUV-crazy world while the still-young luxury brand makes do with just a trio of saloons. There will be no more getting by for Genesis, however, as the GV80 is finally revealed as the brand's first sport utility vehicle.

It's about time:

For now, the GV80 is only available in South Korea and as such, the information we have relates to that market. Still, there’s no question that Genesis is seeking to carve its place in the luxury realm both in style and technology. The GV80 will compete with the likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, offering both two- and three-row accommodations for passengers. They will be greeted with upscale materials available in a range of colours and trims, but it’s the technology that could be most impressive of all.

The GV80 is properly digital, from its instrument cluster to the 14.5-inch infotainment screen. Through it, driver and front-seat passenger will have an array of systems at their disposal, including an augmented reality navigation system. The Genesis Integrated Controller has a handwriting recognition system that literally lets occupants write out things such as driving destinations or phone numbers, which the tech then recognises and implements. That’s in addition to the normal suite of apps found in modern vehicles.

It’s the unseen – or in this case, unheard – tech that could take the cake. The GV80 utilises a noise-cancelling system that actively monitors road noise in real-time, and emits an opposite-wave sound to effectively block it all out. There’s an auto-purification system for the cockpit that monitors air quality and activates when needed. The GV80 carries all the current driver-assist and safety systems as well, including a system that monitors driver activity and issues warnings if it thinks the driver is a bit drowsy or otherwise inattentive behind the wheel.

As for what motivates the GV80, there’s still some mystery there as the South Korean launch didn’t go into detail on what the rest of the world can expect. The new SUV utilises rear-wheel-drive architecture but is certainly available with all-wheel-drive, and its drivetrain will boast several modes for various conditions. The current engine is a 3.0-litre turbodiesel generating 278 bhp (207 kilowatts) and 434 pound-feet (588 Newton-metres) of torque, but that likely won’t carry over outside of South Korea.

In the beginning:

The official word on other engines isn’t given, but we expect a pair of petrol mills to fill the GV80’s engine bay around the world. It will likely start with a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder developing 304 bhp (227 kW), which isn’t bad for a base-model engine. The upgrade is likely a 3.5-litre six-cylinder packing 380 bhp (283 kW) and a claimed 0-60 sprint of 5.7 seconds.

As previously stated, The GV80 will initially be offered only in South Korea, with the rest of the world getting the SUV later. Unlike most modern new-vehicle debuts, there won’t be a long wait for it to arrive in dealerships. Sales are slated to begin later this month in the Korean market with the diesel engine. Other markets will see the GV80 arrive later in the year.