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Genesis finally gets a luxury SUV in its portfolio

Our Bureau | Updated on January 16, 2020 Published on January 16, 2020

The width of the interior of the GV80 was emphasised through the design of sleek, thin air vents. A 14.5-inch, split-screen infotainment display sits front and centre atop the dashboard

The parabolic line runs smoothly along the side, and is accentuated by power lines above each wheel, emphasising stance and presence

Hyundai’s luxury division launched the GV80, its first sports utility. Is it time for the brand to make an entry into the Indian market?

Hyundai Motor’s luxury car division — Genesis — is the equivalent of sister brands from other car makers like Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura. Currently Genesis’s portfolio has three sedans, and one of the vehicles missing from its portfolio was a luxury sports utility vehicle. Some of its key markets such as the US and the Gulf region, are dominated by luxury SUVs and the gap in the portfolio was felt more in these geographies. But the wait is finally over, and Genesis will officially roll out its GV80 in a phased manner starting with its home market — South Korea.

Earlier this week, Genesis officially launched it, and the GV80 could be the first of many sport-utility vehicles. GV80 introduces a number of firsts for the Genesis brand, including a six-cylinder diesel, electronically controlled suspension with road preview, and Road Active Noise Cancellation. According to Genesis, the ‘V’ in the GV80 marque is meant to represent versatility. The production version of the SUV realises the vision of the GV80 Concept first shown at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

Athletic Design

The GV80 SUV joins the lineup alongside the brand’s existing sedans with a common design identity. The interior and exterior styling of GV80 was the result of a collaboration between Genesis Design studios located in South Korea, the US and Germany.

Signature Genesis design elements are immediately visible on GV80, from every vantage point. An official company statement says that the crest Grille emphasises gravitas consistent with the positioning of GV80. The parabolic line runs smoothly along the side, and is accentuated by power lines above each wheel emphasising stance and presence. The Quad Lamps, which flank the Crest Grille, are made possible with new lighting technology.

The statement also mentions that the G-Matrix pattern that appears in light fixtures throughout the exterior is inspired by orchids and it also appears on the available 22-inch wheels. The body structure of the GV80 is enhanced with hot-stamped, high-strength steel, as well as lightweight aluminum used on the doors, hood, and tailgate that allow it to achieve a fairly competitive kerb weight.

Luxurious Space

Genesis says that the interior of GV80 focuses on “the beauty of white space,” characteristic of the elegant South Korean architectural philosophy. The concept of “luxury in space” defines the open feeling of the cabin of GV80, with the G-Matrix pattern as a motif.

The width of the interior of GV80 was emphasised through the design of sleek, thin air vents that run across the passenger compartment. A 14.5-inch, split-screen infotainment display sits front and centre atop the dashboard. According to Genesis, the number of hard buttons and switches was intentionally kept to a minimum, both for aesthetic purposes and ease of use. In up-level variants, soft materials cover every surface, from the inside of the door handles to the quilted knee pads that line the lower sides of the console.

The ornate control unit on the center console covers an electronic, shift-by-wire transmission base with dial-style shift. Handwriting recognition through the Genesis Integrated Controller helps users set a destination or enter data without having to operate a keyboard on the navigation screen. Simply scribble on the pad and the writing recognition control system recognises it.

In certain markets where equipped, augmented reality navigation utilizes virtual driving guidelines over actual driving images to help drivers recognize roads. Video taken by the front-mounted camera will be displayed on the infotainment screen, and the optimal driving path will be displayed in a virtual graphic so that the driver can drive along the route easily and accurately.

The GV80 features the world’s first application of Road Active Noise Cancellation (RANC) technology, which dramatically reduces road noise while driving. Using digital signal processing, RANC generates sound waves of opposite phases in 0.002 seconds by analysing road noise in real time, dramatically reducing irregular, simultaneous road noise.

Another world-first technology is an active motion driver’s seat that contains seven air cells: a feature that reduces fatigue from long hours of driving. One-touch comfort control, adjustable from the front row, allows for limousine-level relaxation in the second-row seats. Heated and ventilated seats are available in the first two rows.

Diesel, Still Alive

As an authentic Genesis, GV80 is based on a unique rear-wheel-drive platform; all-wheel drive is optional. It will launch in the home market of South Korea with a Genesis-exclusive, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine with a max output of 278PS and maximum torque of 588Nm. When equipped as a five-seat model with 19-inch wheels, the rear-wheel-drive diesel GV80 variant returns 11.8 kmpl. Two turbocharged gasoline engines will be available for the GV80 in the US Market.

GV80 models equipped with all-wheel drive in the US Market will feature an electronically controlled Limited Slip Differential at the rear axle. Electronically controlled suspension with road preview, another Genesis first, helps provide passengers with optimal ride comfort by recognizing information on the road ahead in advance via the front camera.

GV80 provides a range of standard active and passive safety systems, as part of a brand-level engineering commitment to passenger security and comfort. They include smart cruise control with machine learning, highway driving assist with auto lane change, forward collision-avoidance assist etc.

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Published on January 16, 2020
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