- Image from Clien.net

Genesis has shown us surprising improvements in the last 5 years. When Genesis was first launched, everyone was going, “That’s still a Hyundai with a fancy badge”. However, now Genesis makes some proper cars like the G70, which was awarded the Car of the Year by MotorTrend, and the G90, which is even better than the S-Class if you don’t care about brand value. However, the spy shots of GV80 is bringing a bit of controversy.

Image from Clien.net

Image from Clien.net

The spy photos of the GV80 were uploaded on a South Korean online community called Clien, but the post was soon removed. However, those photos were enough to make the car go viral. It seems that the photos were taken in Hyundai’s Ulsan factory as you can see the Palisades behind the GV80.

The GV80 Concept. Image from GV80.

The GV80 Concept. Image from GV80.

The exterior hasn’t really changed from the GV80 concept. The twin headlights and taillights are directly from the concept, but there are also a few changes. The massive front grille was added, which reminds one of the Bentayga and the new GLS600 Maybach. The exterior carries the basic family look from the G90 saloon.

Image from Clien.net

Image from Clien.net

The rear end is rather simple, with the letters “Genesis” written without the Genesis logo. Although the concept featured a sloping roofline that was somewhere in the middle of a normal SUV and a coupe-style SUV, the real model seems more ‘boxy’ compared to the sleek concept. The badge 4WD down in the left also hint that some models will be available with an all-wheel-drive trim.

Image from Clien.net

Image from Clien.net

The interior is the most controversial part. Compared to the G90 or even the G80, the interior feels empty. Leather and wood are used, but the interior feels plain especially the center fascia. One big reason is the smaller air vents and the long and thin infotainment screen. Although the infotainment screen is a 14.5-inch unit, it somehow feels smaller than the unit in the Palisade.

Image from Clien.net

Image from Clien.net

Furthermore, the center console resembles the one in a Range Rover, but only looking cheaper. Overall the interior feels like an ‘improved’ version of the Palisade, which can be seen as an ‘improvement’. But when considering the fact that Hyundai really wants customers to see Hyundai and Genesis separately, this obviously isn’t going to work out well.

Image from Clien.net

Image from Clien.net

The GV80 will be released on December 19th, 2019. Three powertrain trims will be offered, 2.5L petrol, 3.0L diesel, and 3.5L petrol. The 3.5L engine is likely to be the Lambda III engine that will likely be used in the new G80 and the possible RWD sports coupe. Lots of Korean consumers are more than disappointed about the new GV80 as the hype for it was huge, and the delay in the release further bubbled it. Some consumers state “It better be cheap. That doesn’t look like a luxury car” while even some argue “Look at the X5... This car is a total d##k compared to it”

Image from Mercedes Benz

Image from Mercedes Benz

At the end of the day…

In my opinion, the new GV80 is a disaster. All I can see is a rear-wheel-drive Palisade with better interior and fancy badges. Honestly, if Genesis wanted to succeed in the already competitive luxury SUV market, they should’ve put more effort into the car. The feeling I get is that Genesis is trying to justify the ‘rather empty’ interior with its price tag. Genesis stated that the top range GV80 will be around $72,000. When the new GLE starts from $55,700 and a decent GLE will cost you about $70k, I see no reason to buy the GV80.

Image from ride.tech

Image from ride.tech

Furthermore, this act of relying on their cheap price tag will result in the fail of brand marketing at the end of the day. Hyundai wants Genesis to be seen as an independent identity like Lexus. But if they really want to do so, the cars should feel different as a Camry and an ES feels totally different. However, what I see in the GV80 is a top range Hyundai SUV with a Genesis badge and revised interior.

Image from Audi

Image from Audi

But here’s the thing. Genesis doesn’t care about the international market in the case of GV80s. Of course, they would be happy if it sells well, but their main focus is the domestic market. Thanks to Hyundai’s active lobbying, German counterparts like Merc and Beemer often have to be sold without few options, a bigger price tag, and in extreme cases, the import is denied for a long period of time. For example, the new Audi A6 is now just allowed for import in South Korea. And who must have been the greatest beneficient? Of course the G80. The same will happen with the GV80. The price tag and legal issues with the German alternatives will eventually make consumers buy GV80s instead.

Image from Hyundai

Image from Hyundai

An even further problem is that Hyundai and Genesis don’t give a s##t about the domestic market despite it is their biggest income source. For example, the base Palisade in South Korea came with analogue gauges, while digital screens were standard on export versions of it. So, here’s my final opinion Genesis. You’ve made some good cars over the last few years, and that should be recognized. But your GV80 is definitely lame and that’s undeniable. So, just make sure your next GV lineup isn’t as bad as this.

P.S. Somehow this ended up like a 50% spy shot and 50% random rant on Hyundai XD Thanks for reading anyways

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