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Genesis introduces its first SUV, the three-row 2021 Genesis GV80

Genesis has debuted its new SUV. Another is soon on the way.

Photo courtesy of Genesis

An SUV is finally joining the Genesis lineup. This week the Korean automaker unveiled the GV80, its flagship model, showing that the design, engineering, and value proposition of Genesis sedans can carry over into a SUV.

Designed in collaboration between studios in South Korea, the United States, and Germany, the 2021 GV80 features many similar design elements to the recently redesigned 2020 Genesis G90. The Crest Grille sits on the face of the SUV while lines run from the grille and headlights back onto the body of the model.

2021 Genesis GV80 The GV80 has the Genesis Crest Grille at its front.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The GV80 has a commanding stance and looks like a luxury model even at first glance. The Quad Lamp headlights are a signature of the model, the same way they are the G90. The two models also share a G-Matrix pattern in light fixtures throughout the interior, which are inspired by orchids. The GV80 also has the pattern on its 22-inch wheels.

Genesis vehicles are known for being spacious and the GV80 appears to be no exception. The automaker says that the 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 dashboard of the GV80 is centered by a 14.5-inch infotainment screen. Simplicity has reigned supreme in the cabin design with a special focus on keeping the number of buttons and switches to a minimum.


2021 Genesis GV80 The GV80 has many of the design characteristics of the Genesis G90.Photo courtesy of Genesis

At the center of the console is a dial-style shifter and a controller that features handwriting recognition, a technology used in Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles, among others.

2021 Genesis GV80 The interior of the GV80 is suitably plush.Photo courtesy of Genesis

Genesis has made augmented reality navigation which is described by Genesis as utilizing, "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 automaker is set on making the GV80 an "oasis." That includes covering the cabin with soft-touch materials from quilted knee pads to the center and installing the first application of the company's Road Active Noise Cancellation, which takes traditional noise cancellation technology a big step forward. The driver's seat has seven air cells to help drivers achieve maximum comfort. Heated and ventilated seats are available in the first two rows.

The GV80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive and has available all-wheel drive. GV80 AWD models will come standard with an electronically controlled limited slip differential at the rear.

2021 Genesis GV80 Genesis has specifically engineered the cabin of the model to be spacious.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The SUV's suspension is electronically controlled and features road preview, which recognizes the road ahead and optimizes the suspension for optimal comfort, similar to what the Lincoln Aviator's system does.

Genesis has plans to sell the GV80 with the buyer's choice between two turbocharged engines in the U.S.

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.

2021 Genesis GV80 Each new GV80 comes with a long list of safety technology.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The new SUV features a number of new technologies for the Genesis brand including:

  • Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning: A world first, SCC-ML advances the science and engineering behind smart cruise control. It is an artificial intelligence-based intelligent navigation technology that helps enable GV80 to independently learn the driving characteristics of its drivers and implement autonomous driving similar to that of human drivers.
  • Highway Driving Assist II: This system helps assist the driver in a wider variety of situations than before, including lane change when the turn signal is used, and helping to merge in congested situations.
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist: This system is able to help automatically bring GV80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle on the left or right side of the intersection. GV80 is also able to help detect potential collision risks, if a pedestrian is in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion.
  • Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist: BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle, upon departing a parallel parking spot as one example.
  • Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist: This system uses rear side radar to help detect and prevent impact with obstacles.
  • Driver Attention Alert Warning: This system monitors the driver's attention when driving, by analyzing driving patterns and behaviors, including intermittent steering and unnatural deceleration, through vehicle signals, such as steering angle and steering torque and vehicle position in traffic lane. A forward-looking camera monitors the driver and will generate pop-up messages and warning tones when fatigue or forward-looking neglect is detected.

The 2020 Genesis GV80 will go on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

Entertainers Chrissy Teigen and John Legend star in this year's Genesis Super Bowl ad.

Photo courtesy of Genesis

Like sister companies Hyundai and Kia, Genesis is throwing its hat in the ring. Musician John Legend and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, will star in a new spot for the automaker that focuses viewers on the company's position of "Young Luxury."

The second-quarter advertisement will introduce the GV80 SUV and be a kickoff to the SUV's campaign featuring the duo.

"Launching GV80 in North America during the Super Bowl offers us exponential visibility for the Genesis brand at the national, and to some extent global, level," said Mark Del Rosso, Chief Executive Officer, Genesis Motor North America. "With John and Chrissy showcasing their signature charm, we will give our first SUV the running room to compete and win."

Del Rosso continued, "Launching our first SUV with amazing support from John and Chrissy in our first Super Bowl spot became the perfect time to launch our new "Young Luxury" brand campaign and is indicative of our desire at Genesis to ignite exploration in everyone by infusing all that we do with the spirit of youth and wonder. Genesis is the youngest luxury automotive brand, why not act our age and have a little fun?"

Caviar director and comedian Neal Brennan, who is known for adding comedic touches to the ads he directs, helmed the ad. "Combining opulence and humor for this spot was a fun challenge," said Brennan. "Thankfully, the comedic flow between Chrissy and John is effortless."

The GV80 is the first SUV developed by the Genesis brand. There are two more Genesis SUVs on the horizon with the third being an electric-powered model, according to a recent article in Motortrend.

The GV80 will be the first Genesis SUV to arrive on U.S. shores.

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Genesis has existed on sedans for the better part of three years now. It's been a tough brand debut for the luxury arm of Hyundai despite having three solid cars available to consumers. This year, Genesis's first SUV, the three-row GV80 will debut.

Genesis's sedans carry the G70, G80, and G90 moniker. The company says that it added a "V" to the name of the alphanumeric GV80 name to represent the model's versatility rather than going with a traditional model name like "Tucson" or "Sorento".

2020 Genesis GV80 Genesis has given the GV80 a similar grille and headlight style to the G90.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Its design was a collaboration between Genesis Design studios located in South Korea, the United States, and Germany. Genesis has remained true to the car's prototype model, first shown at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

"GV80 allows us to expand our definition of Athletic Elegance design language to a new typology, while retaining sublime proportionality and sophistication of form," said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

Based on a rear-wheel drive platform, the GV80 will have available all-wheel drive and an available third row. This is a similar setup to the Volkswagen Tiguan.

2020 Genesis GV80 The shape of the SUV is similar to other luxury SUVs.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

It has a wide grille and a front Quad Lamp light signature that is similar to that in the 2020 Genesis G90. Its pinched and sculpted hood gives off an air of athleticism.

Sang Yup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Genesis Design added "The Quad Lamp, our design signature, introduces an unmistakable visual impression completely unique to Genesis."

From the front, the sweeping Parabolic Line runs along the side of the model drawing the eye rearward. The wheels are positioned to emphasize the car's strong stance.

Genesis's G-Matrix pattern appears in light fixtures at the front and rear of the vehicle, and on the wheels. It is inspired by orchids.

2020 Genesis GV80 The interior of the GV80 features a minimalistic design.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

A strong architectural aesthetic plays on the interior of the SUV, which is designed with minimalism in mind. A release put out by the company touts the SUV's high driving position, high-mounted control surfaces, slim air vents, and touch screen climate controls. It also says that the center console features a "jewel-like, rotating electronic gear selector" that provides "an exquisite balance of simplicity and glamor."

The GV80 goes on sale in South Korea this month. Sales in the U.S. will commence later in 2020. Pricing, grade structure, and technical information will be provided by the automaker prior to the SUV's on-sale date.

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