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Genesis G80 arriving in 2017

G force: The G80 was uncovered at last month’s Busan motor show and will hit Australian shores in the first half of next year.

US-market G80 update not for Aus as Hyundai eyes 2017 Genesis brand launch


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22 Jul 2016

HYUNDAI’S fledgling premium brand Genesis has uncovered its North American-market G80 sedan this week, but Australia will get the version that was revealed at last month’s Busan motor show in South Korea.

G80 is the new moniker for the Hyundai Genesis that was introduced in late-2014 as Hyundai’s first attempt at a luxury saloon, and it will be used as the first Genesis-badged model to launch the Lexus and Infiniti-rivalling brand in Australia in the first half of next year.

While the US version only gets minor tweaks – new G80 badging and other barely there changes – the G80 revealed at Busan features more obvious changes, including a redesigned front bumper and grille as well as new adaptive full LED headlights.

The lower rear bumper has also been reshaped and the G80 sits on new 18-inch wheels, while stylists have added dark chrome highlights at the rear and the side of the big sedan.

Inside, Genesis says “the finest materials have been applied” to various touch-points, while there are subtle tweaks to the instrument cluster, the analogue clock and speaker grille design. The G80 will also introduce wireless phone and device charging.

It appears that the G80 will benefit from a higher level of safety gear that includes Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assistance System and a Driver Attention Alert.

A pedestrian-detecting autonomous emergency braking system will also be made available.

Australian-spec Genesis G80s will likely continue with the 232kW/397Nm 3.8-litre GDi V6 engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 5.0-litre V8 is offered in other markets but is not on the cards for Australia.

While changes under the skin are relatively minor, they are believed to include revised powertrain calibration, a revised steering rack and rear suspension componentry.

Alongside the refreshed G80, Genesis also ripped the covers off a new G80 Sport variant that features sportier and more aggressive styling elements such as a mesh grille, dual exhausts and brushed chrome elements as well as deep sports seats, a sport steering wheel, paddle shifters and a drive mode system.

The G80 Sport is powered by Hyundai’s new 272kW/509Nm 3.3-litre turbocharged petrol V6 that will likely show up in other future models, but GoAuto understands the Sport will not be offered in Australia.

A spokesperson for Hyundai Motor Company Australia said it was still unclear how many of the changes and new features will make it to the local version due in the first half of 2017.

Speaking on the stand at the Busan show in South Korea, head of the Genesis brand and former Lamborghini brand and design director Manfred Fitzgerald said creating a new automotive brand relied on strong design and praised the new chief designer, former Volkswagen Group stylist Luc Donckerwolke.

“Our vision is to become an authentic and relevant global luxury brand by delivering outstanding and fascinating products and services,” he said. “We strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our customers, becoming an important element of their lifestyle. And speaking about creating fascination, it all starts with great design. That is why we are such a design focused brand.

“A luxury automobile should convey a sense of sophistication, of elegance and of exclusivity. Of course, good design goes well beyond styling and you sense it at first sight. It does not need any explanation. Therefore, we have assembled a team of outstanding designers like Luc Donckerwolke.”

The Genesis retails from $60,000 plus on-road costs for the base model and tops out at $82,000 for the range-topping Ultimate. The car-maker recently discontinued the mid-spec $71,000 Sensory Pack in Australia due to low take-up.

Since the arrival of the Genesis in Australia in late-2014, Hyundai has sold 869 examples of the large premium sedan, with solid interest from the limousine industry.

To the end of June this year, Hyundai has sold 210 Genesis sedans, a 25.5 per cent dip over the same period in 2015. While it is well behind the big players in the sub-$70,000 large car segment, it is only slightly off the year to date pace of the Skoda Superb (270 units) but ahead of the Peugeot 508 (106 units).

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