Car Reviews Motoring

The All-New Genesis G80

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Embodying distinctive premium design, cutting-edge technology, unrivalled driver engagement and class-leading comfort, the all-new Genesis G80 makes its British debut.

A large premium saloon car of exceptional quality, it represents the culmination of a decade’s worth of development, including a dedicated focus on the UK’s challenging roads.

The all-new G80 is an exciting disrupter in the premium saloon segment. The result of a strong collaborative effort between engineers at Genesis in Namyang, South Korea and their European colleagues in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the G80 delivers world-class excellence.

The car has been subjected to extensive testing and development on Europe’s most challenging roads, and of course the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany. Over the course of tens of thousands of kilometres driving against established class benchmarks, Genesis engineers have honed the all-new G80’s suspension and drivetrain to deliver premium standards in driver engagement, refinement and comfort.

Design – Athletic Elegance Elevated

The Genesis G80 embraces the brand’s bold “Athletic Elegance” design philosophy, which is the result of collaboration between Genesis Design studios located in South Korea, the United States and Germany. While other Genesis models are geared more towards athleticism or elegance, as the core of the model range the all-new G80 is characterised by the perfect balance between these two design cornerstones.

These distinctive signature Genesis design elements can be seen on the G80 when viewed from any angle. At the front are the trademark design cues of the double lined Quad Lamp arrangement and Crest Grille, which combine to give a modern but distinguished look.

Made possible by sophisticated LED lighting technology, the Quad Lamp graphic in particular is a unique signature of Genesis design, as it helps to communicate the G80’s distinct identity. This feature extends beyond the limits of the headlamps, into the rear of the front wings and the tail lamps, encompassing all sides of the vehicle.

Running down the sides of the saloon is a Parabolic Line graphic, inspired by the elegant look of classic cars. Beginning at the Quad Lamp and continuing through the top of the doors before lowering towards the rear of the car, it gives the G80 an assertive presence on the road.

This tapered line is counterbalanced by the athletic “power lines” that help emphasise the wings and the body-to-wheel ratio. In addition, the static ‘forward visual motion’ of the G80 is strengthened by a chrome trim strip that begins at the front wheels before stretching out along the bottom of the doors, across the lower sills and upwards to the rear.

A dramatic, tapered look at the rear is highlighted by a sloping boot lid and Quad Lamps, which visually mirror those at the front. Chrome trim at the top of the boot stretches the full width of the G80, repeating the visual graphic of the Genesis emblem, while the dual exhaust finishers reference the trademark Crest Grille design.

Luxurious and Calm Interior

Zoned into distinct two-tiered ‘panoramic’ and ‘control’ areas, the Genesis’ interior is both comfortable to be in and intuitive to use. The steering wheel and sleek, thin air vents that run across the width of the dashboard are used to separate these two clearly defined zones, with the panoramic area above and the control area below.

In the upper panoramic area is a 12.3-inch instrument cluster ahead of you, which is complemented by a 14.5-inch infotainment screen with high definition display that relays all the necessary information while driving. By dividing the steering wheel into the same upper and lower halves, Genesis distinguishes the upper (panoramic area) and lower part (control area) to optimise the intuitive use of the vehicle as well as the view ahead.

The control area is equipped with the Genesis Integrated Controller for the infotainment system. Using a touch sensitive handwriting pad, it is positioned ahead of the drive-by-wire, glass-topped rotary gear selector. Throughout the interior, the number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum, creating a cool, minimalistic aesthetic and promoting an ease of use.

Visibility for you and your passengers in the G80 has clearly been a design priority. The result is a relaxed and panoramic view of the road ahead, and a sense of openness when seated. This has been achieved by minimising the A-pillar thickness and rear-view mirror dimensions, plus reducing dashboard height.

While the uncluttered design is an example of measured restraint, luxury is demonstrated with the 12-way power adjustable standard seats and with the optional 18-way Ergo Motion Driver’s Seat which features seven air chambers, each individually adjustable to ensure maximum comfort and posture. Furthermore, the seat ergonomics are optimised according to the selected drive mode.

In Comfort, the bolstering is adjusted to make lateral support less pronounced, while Sport mode introduces a firmer shaping for more secure support of the body during dynamic driving.  

Adjusting the ambient temperature is equally straightforward, with standard two-zone and optional three-zone climate control, both featuring capacitive touch capability with tactile haptic feedback. Heated front seats are standard, while ventilated seats front and rear, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel are optional.

Lighting is key to enjoying any environment and customisable ambient lighting not only helps set the mood, but also increases safety by changing colour depending on which transmission gear is selected – red for reverse and a user-selected ambient colour for drive and neutral.

A sense of luxury and calm is further enhanced by the class-leading interior space, with the offering generous leg and head room for front and rear seat passengers, while the optional panoramic sunroof adds to the sense of openness in the cabin. Premium materials are used throughout, including the optional grained leather and soft quilted Nappa leather seat coverings, open pore finish wood trims and soft touch materials.

Turbocharged Engines Deliver Effortless Power

The G80 is designed and engineered to deliver a powerful statement, both visually and from behind the wheel. Helping to deliver on its promise are a pair of turbocharged engines – a 304PS, 2.5-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a 210PS 2.2-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel.

The powerful 2.5-litre petrol features a dual fuel injection system that combines the advantages of direct injection (GDI) and multi-point injection (MPI). GDI technology delivers an in-cylinder cooling effect and optimised combustion efficiency, particularly in cold and high-load conditions. MPI has advantages when it comes to better air fuel mixture preparation in hot and low-load conditions. By combining both, all-new G80 delivers better fuel efficiency and performance as well as reduced exhaust emissions.

In addition, the 2.5-litre petrol features an innovative split-cooling system that controls coolant flow and temperature, with the cylinder head operating at lower temperatures than the engine block. This delivers an efficiency advantage, as lower block temperatures would negatively impact the vehicle’s fuel economy.

Also available is an all-new 2.2-litre diesel engine that produces 210PS and 441Nm torque. The advanced four-cylinder unit features a lightweight aluminium construction and offers refinement and efficiency. Exceptional fuel economy has been achieved through a focus on reducing internal friction and the use of a common-rail fuel injection system that runs at 2,200 bar of pressure. As a result, it meets the strictest European regulations in the form of the current Euro 6d and RDE2 (Real Driving Emissions Stage 2) assessments.

Advanced Eight-Speed Automatic

An in-house developed eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and has been optimised for all the engines. Featuring a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque-converter that balances engine vibration and harmonics, this transmission offers outstanding performance, enhancing the premium refinement of the saloon.

Particular attention has been paid to the tuning of the Sport mode, which has been developed to meet the needs of the most demanding drivers. Smooth and responsive, the transmission adapts perfectly to your mood and the road ahead.

Advanced Safety

In keeping with the Genesis brand’s focus on safety, the G80 debuts class-leading safety technologies within a range of standard active and passive safety systems that deliver driver assistance and crash protection.

A significant new safety feature on the car is its first-in-class front centre airbag. Located in the driver’s seat on the centre console side, it deploys in just 0.03 seconds in the event of a side collision to help prevent the two front passengers from colliding with each other or with vehicle components. It comes standard on all G80 models, alongside nine other airbags (driver and front passenger; left and right side; driver’s knee; left and right curtains; left and right rear passenger airbags).

Further peace-of-mind comes with the brand’s cutting-edge machine-learning (ML) technology that builds upon existing driver assistance systems (ADAS) to provide a safer, smoother and more enjoyable driving experience. These ADAS technologies use this artificial intelligence technology in unison with cameras and sensors to detect and avoid obstructions, minimise the impact from collisions in worst case scenarios.

Above all else, the Genesis G80 achieved the full five-star score from crash-test body, Euro NCAP. So, if you’re looking for a premium saloon for you and your family, it’s difficult to think of many other cars with this level of safety as well as luxury and design rolled into one. For more information on the Genesis G80 and other models, click here.

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