The 2021 Genesis G80 Should Make the BMW 5-Series Worry

Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, is in the middle of a full lineup blitz. The automaker has already released the GV80 crossover, and it has several more crossovers and SUVs on the way. Genesis is also planning a few more sedans to accompany the G90. Up until now, we’ve only seen a few photos of the upcoming refreshed Genesis G80. But now, new details have emerged. And it looks like some of the current luxury brands have something to worry about.

Genesis G80 powertrain

The 2021 Genesis G80 won’t keep the 5.0-liter V8 from the outgoing car. However, Autoblog reports the V8 wasn’t actually the best engine choice for the sedan. Instead, the 2021 G80 will offer two different turbocharged engines.

2021 Genesis G80
2021 Genesis G80 | Genesis

The base engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which makes 300 hp and 311 lb-ft. That’s only 11 hp less than the previous-gen car’s 3.8-liter V6. The upgrade engine for the 2021 G80 is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, which develops 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. That’s also an increase over the outgoing 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which made 365 hp. Overseas, the 2021 Genesis G80 will also offer a diesel engine. All 2021 Genesis G80s will have an 8-speed automatic, Road & Track reports.

2021 Genesis G80 side
2021 Genesis G80 side | Genesis

The G80 will come standard with rear-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive will be optional. Genesis hasn’t quoted acceleration or fuel efficiency figures. However, the 2021 Genesis G80 is reportedly 243 pounds lighter than the 2020 model, due in part to a more aluminum-intensive design. Considering Car and Driver reported the previous-gen 3.3-liter-equipped car was actually faster to 60 than the V8 model, the new 3.5-liter should be more than sufficient.

In addition to the powertrain updates, Genesis also upgraded the G80’s interior and luxury features for 2021.

Genesis G80 features

In Jalopnik’s review of the previous-gen Genesis G80, reviewers noted the interior had some nice touches but also had a bit too much plastic. It seems the 2021 G80’s designers took that as a challenge.

2021 Genesis G80 interior
2021 Genesis G80 interior | Genesis

The 2021 G80’s interior is full of leather, soft-touch fabrics and open-pore wood trim, similar to the GV80’s, Motor Trend notes. That’s not a knock: I’ve sat in the GV80, and its interior in no way felt cheap.

The new G80 also gets a larger, 14.5” infotainment touchscreen. That screen can also be controlled by a knurled dial in the center console, or with a digital writing pad, Roadshow reports. The 2021 Genesis G80 also gets a 12.3” digital center display, as well as a heads-up display. And instead of a traditional shift lever, there’s an electronic rotary dial.

Genesis GV80 interior side
Genesis GV80 interior side | Genesis

In terms of technology, the Genesis G80 has luxury customers covered. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with the car able to support over-the-air updates. The G80 also comes standard with a number of advanced driver-assistance features, like lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. In addition, the G80 will offer an adaptive cruise control system with ‘machine learning’, which allegedly lets the car learn its owner’s driving style.

2021 Genesis G80 rear
2021 Genesis G80 rear | Genesis

Genesis reports the 2021 G80 will also have more legroom and headroom, despite the coupe-like sloping roofline. Designers also reportedly improved visibility by thinning the A-pillars and lowering the dashboard.

To improve NVH, the 2021 G80 also gets new door seals, improved sound insulation, as well as noise-reducing wheels—which, according to Car and Driver, genuinely have an effect. Genesis will also fit the G80 with electronically-controlled suspension as in the GV80. This uses forward-facing cameras to anticipate bumps and dips in the road.

Pricing and availability

The 2021 Genesis G80 will go on sale in the US in the latter half of 2020. As of this writing, Genesis hasn’t released official pricing. However, Car and Driver predicts a starting price of around $50,000; $70,000 for a fully-loaded sedan. For comparison, the 2020 G80 starts at about $43,500; the 5.0-liter V8 model starts at $58,495.

2020 BMW 540i
2020 BMW 540i | BMW

A $50k starting price would put the Genesis G80 about $4000 below the BMW 530i. The base BMW 5-Series also makes less power and doesn’t have Android Auto as standard. The 2021 G80 would also undercut the base Mercedes E-Class by a similar amount. BMW’s M5 and Mercedes’ AMG E-Class undoubtedly make more power and are more sporty, but that’s not the point of the G80. Presumably, there won’t be an N version of the G80.

2019 Audi A6
2019 Audi A6 | Audi

Adding AWD would undoubtedly add to the G80’s price. However, it would still be cheaper than the base Audi A6, which comes standard with AWD. The A6 is also less-powerful, and the base model doesn’t offer adaptive suspension.

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