- We've already shown you that for 2021, the Genesis G80 has made a move upmarket; now we have an on-sale date for the sleek mid-size luxury sedan.
- The 2021 G80 rides on a new rear-wheel-drive platform and gets a choice of two turbocharged engines.
- The G80 goes on sale in the second half of the year, soon after the GV80 SUV that it closely resembles.
While the last Genesis G80 began life as a Hyundai before being rebadged, this new generation was developed from the start to be part of a luxury brand—and it shows. The new 2021 G80 oozes presence, has a genuinely upscale interior, and promises improved performance to boot. This mid-size luxury sedan is set to go on sale in the second half of 2020, following the arrival of the closely related GV80 SUV.
While it has the same 118.5-inch wheelbase as its predecessor, the G80 rides on a new rear-wheel-drive platform and is a bit longer, lower, and wider than before. It remains slightly larger than competitors such as the Mercedes E-class and BMW 5-series, which should give it an advantage in terms of rear-seat room. Genesis claims that the new G80 is 243 pounds lighter than before thanks to a greater use of aluminum in the body.
New engines are on board, as a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft now serves as the base engine to replace the old naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V-6. A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 is the upgrade engine. Its 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque offer more grunt than the old model's twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 but a bit less than its 5.0-liter V-8, which is no longer offered. Both engines offer an eight-speed automatic transmission, with rear-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional.
Genesis's design language is distinctive and elegant as applied to the new G80, with the front end using the crest grille and quad lamp setup that we first saw on the GV80. Other lighting elements, including side marker lamps and LED taillights, continue the horizontal two-bar theme. The gently sloping rear glass that transitions into a tapered decklid might make you think that the G80 is a hatchback like the Audi A7, but it is a sedan with a regular trunk.
Our initial impressions of the G80's interior are that it strikes a nice balance between simplicity and decadence. The abundant leather, open-pore wood, and metal trim look to be high quality, and the dashboard design is pleasing without being overwhelming. Though a large 14.5-inch central touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster dominate the arrangement, there are a fair number of physical buttons and knobs that remain for climate control, radio, and navigation functions. The rotary gearshifter is placed directly behind a controller for the infotainment system.
Numerous driver-assistance features are offered, though Genesis isn't saying yet which are standard and which are optional. In addition to adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and automated emergency braking, there is also a system called Highway Driving Assist II that can help execute lane changes when the driver activates the turn signal. As in many other Hyundai and Genesis products, there's a smart parking feature that allows you to move the car in and out of tight parking spaces remotely via the key fob even from outside the car.
While Genesis won't release official pricing for the G80 until later this year, we expect it to cost a few thousand dollars less than the German competition. That means a starting price under $50,000 and a fully loaded price just under $70,000.
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