It’s a tumultuous time for new car debuts. Coronavirus pandemic-related auto show cancellations have forced manufacturers to alter their previously-scheduled plans to reveal plans. So instead of revealing its new third-generation G80 midsize sedan in at the Geneva Motor Show, Genesis teased photos of it on Instagram earlier this month — then held a digital reveal event for it.
We already knew the G80 looked stunning, thanks to earlier pictures and the knowledge that it shares both a rear-wheel-drive platform and styling cues with Genesis’ new GV80 SUV. With a sleek exterior and upscale interior, it almost reads like a Bentley or Mercedes…though, from head-on, that grille does look enormous. Not off-putting, at least in photographs, but enormous.
The G80 should deliver on the performance front as well. As expected, it will share its engine lineup from the GV80; the base model will be a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four putting out 300 horsepower, while upgrading to the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 will get you 375 hp. (Genesis dropped the 5.0-liter V8 for the new generation.) The G80 also sheds 243 pounds over the last generation, thanks in part to its partial aluminum construction, and has a lower center of gravity for better handling.
Genesis says the G80 will go on sale in the U.S. later this year. We still don’t know about will be how much it costs; the current-generation G80 starts at $42,550, so Genesis could raise the base price significantly and still undercut rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, which both begin around $54,000.
Hyundai Motor Group has been killing it across its brand lineup, with cars like the Kia Telluride and its cousin the Hyundai Palisade impressing buyers by offering more luxury than many would anticipate at that price point. Genesis is improving its reputation with buyers as well; the brand doubled its U.S. sales volume in 2019 (even without an SUV in the lineup) and earned J.D. Power’s brand award for best initial quality. If it drives as good as it looks, the G80 could be a car that worries the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus.
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