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New York show: Genesis powers up with GV80 concept

Fuel for thought: Genesis has not provided details on the plug-in hydrogen fuel-cell electric drivetrain but its parent company has been developing the tech for years.

Genesis GV80 concept previews the first SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand

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Genesis logo13 Apr 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HYUNDAI’S Genesis luxury sister brand has previewed its forthcoming BMW X5-baiting SUV with the reveal of the GV80 plug-in fuel-cell concept at the New York motor show overnight.

While Genesis is not giving much away about the GV80, the company has confirmed it is about two years away from production.

The fuel-cell powertrain is unlikely to make it to the production version, at least initially, and the road-ready version of the GV80 will lock horns with the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX and Range Rover Sport.

It is unclear if it will be the first Genesis-badged SUV to market, with the company also expected to launch a smaller SUV to take on the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX.

Speaking with GoAuto, Hyundai Motor Company Australia general manager of public relations Bill Thomas stopped short of confirming the SUV for Australia, but said it would be a welcome addition to the line-up.

“We are certain that a beautifully designed and well-equipped Genesis SUV would be a popular addition to the Genesis model line in Australia and we understand at least one Genesis SUV will be built in right-hand drive,” he said. “However, we can’t go into more details at the present time.”

Genesis will officially launch in Australia with the facelifted G80 sedan (formerly dubbed the Hyundai Genesis) later this year followed by the production version of the G70 concept from last year’s New York show.

The same design team that shaped the concept will pen the road-going version and Genesis says it is likely to maintain a similar look to the New York show car.

Describing the SUV concept as “progressive”, Genesis says the GV80 builds on the “Athletic Elegance” design language that made its debut on the Vision G concept at last year’s Chicago motor show.

“The GV80 Concept is a SUV that alludes to the confidence and evolution of the Genesis brand – its design is timeless, with an understated yet dynamic overall surface complexity,” Genesis head of design Luc Donckerwolke said.

“These are all characteristics that embody Genesis products and delicately reflect distinctive elements, which you’ll continue to see in future models from our brand.”

The GV80 features the “signature Genesis crest grille” with a diamond motif mesh look, surrounded by horizontal quad headlights with jewel-like graphics.

It has alloy air intakes at the front and Genesis describes the overall finish as Ice Granite.

The GV80 has a character line running from the front of the bonnet just under the window line to the rear, big wheel arches to house the massive 23-inch mesh alloy wheels and virtually undetectable electronic door handles to aid aerodynamics.

At the rear, the slimline quad tail-lights mimic the design of the headlights, but it uses laser fibre-optic technology to produce a unique light signature.

Inside the GV80 features a wide 22-inch curved display in the instrument panel that flows into the driver’s cluster.

This OLED display forms part of the Human Machine Interface concept that is operated via a multi-function interactive controller with capacitive touch.

A bridge separates the passengers and ensures that the concept is strictly for four occupants only. This also splits the SUV into distinct zones, ensuring different driver and passenger experiences, according to Genesis.

The interactive multi-function controller has a “concave gorilla glass touchpad” and “knurled metal wheel” that has handwriting recognition.

Each “metal string” of the touch control allows access to the most commonly used functions such as Navigation, Entertainment, Communication, and Environment. Passengers can also gain separate control of a display on the right side of the wide display without disturbing the driver.

The warm alloy metal is mirrored with materials in the cabin, while rich textures and leather and quilted diamond stitching helps to give the GV80 a premium feel.

Genesis has not provided any details on the plug-in hydrogen fuel-cell electric drivetrain, but parent company Hyundai has been developing the tech for a number of years and is expected to roll out a mass-produced version of the green powertrain in the coming years.

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