The GV80 debuts in the first quarter of 2020 and this is everything we know about it

The Genesis GV80 is destined to be a Christmas present to the world with its debut scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. There are still many unknowns about Genesis’ first SUV, but we’ve seen prototypes testing on a number of occasions, and now we have some leaked images available as well. Will the Genesis GV80 borrow design and tech from the 2017 GV80 Concept or will it change dramatically before it reaches production? Will it borrow DNA from Genesis sedan models, like the G80? Will it be a worthy contender to the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE Class? Well, let’s take a look at what we know and what we think we know about the all-new Genesis GV80.

Genesis GV80 Leaks Show the Concept Has Evolved

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If you compare the leaked image of the front-end to the front end of the concept, there are quite a few changes up front.

Genesis had to make the headlights larger to comply with safety regulations so, while they will be sleek and integrated into the corners, they won’t be as sleek as that of the concept. The lower front of the fascia has changed dramatically too, with the air dam now standing on its own and the big corner vents now practically non-existent. The most important change here is the grille. It maintains the same shape, which is in line with other Genesis models now, but it’s much larger and the nose isn’t quite as long as it was on the concept. We’re still on the fence about the size of the grille, but that’s a story for another day.

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The rear end is a little more similar to that of the concept, and the concept did represent the production version to an extent.

The lights have undergone the same growth spurt, though, so they are much taller than on the concept. They are still flush with the hatch and the body, though, and they do wrap around the rear corners. The rear hatch has more of a flat area though, that almost makes it look like the rear of a sedan with a really tall roof – we’ll miss the smoother, more rounded transition from the concept. The lower fascia has remained the same for the most part. The tiny vents in the corners are now house red reflectors and there’s a gloss black insert that houses the exhaust outlets. Overall, it’ll be a looker, but it won’t look quite as good as the concept.

The Genesis GV80 is the first SUV from Genesis and It Won’t Be the Biggest

This should go without saying, but the GV80 is Genesis’ first SUV, and it needs to be a hit.

If Genesis’ continues with its traditional naming strategy, the GV80 will sit in the middle of the lineup, just like the G80 sedan.

This leaves from for a larger, more luxurious GV90 and a smaller, more affordable GV70.

The Genesis GV80 Will Compete Against the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE But Could Be Priced Lower

Genesis’ first SUV will compete against other midsize luxury SUVs, namely the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. With these two main competitors The Genesis GV80 needs to be priced just right to stand a chance.

With the Mercedes GLE starting at $53,700 and the BMW X5 starting at $58,900, you can bet that the GV80 will start somewhere in that price bracket.

However, Genesis could maintain a lower entry price, say $52,000, and that would give buyers a nice little incentive to go for it as opposed to either of the German rivals. On that note, range-topping models of the X5 and the GLE (I’m talking about the Mercedes-AMG and BMW M models) go as high as $114,000 so better equipped models of the GV80 could also reach into the six-figure territory as long as there are performance figures to match the competition.

The Genesis GV80 Shares a Chassis and Engines With the G80

2017 Genesis G80
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We still have a few more years before the second-generation G80 Sedan comes to market, but the GV80 will feature the same underpinnings and engine lineup. So, technically, the GV80 serves as a preview to what we can expect from the next-gen G80 as well.

The GV80 will be offered with a choice of three different engines.

The base engine is a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. The mid-level offering is a 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6 that’s good for 365 horses and 376 pound-feet. The range-topper will have a 5.0-liter V-8 (found in the G80 Ultimate) and it’s currently good for 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

However, since these engines are expected to carry on for the foreseeable future, some refinement is in order and we could see a mild increase (think 5-10 percent at best) across the lineup. There’s also a good chance that Genesis could seriously re-work the 5.0-liter V-8 for an M or AMG competitor down the road, but that’s pure speculation at this point.

2020 Genesis G80 specifications
Type 3.8L DOHC 24-valve V6 with D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve V8 with D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) 3.3L Twin Turbo DOHC 24-Valve V6 with D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing)
Materials Aluminum Block / Aluminum Cylinder Heads Aluminum Block / Aluminum Cylinder Heads Aluminum Block / Aluminum Cylinder Heads
Displacement 3.8 liters / 3,778 cc 5.0 liters / 5,038 cc 3.3L / 3,342 cc
Bore & Stroke 96.0 mm x 87.0 mm 96.0 mm x 87.0 mm 92.0 mm x 87.0 mm
Horsepower (estimate) 311 @ 6,000 rpm (Regular Fuel) 420/407 @ 6,000 rpm (Premium/Regular Fuel) 365/TBD @ 6,000 rpm (Premium/Regular Fuel)
Torque (estimate) 293 lb. ft @ 5,000 rpm (Regular Fuel) 383/372 lb. ft @ 5,000 rpm (Premium/Regular Fuel) 376/TBD lb. ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm (Premium/Regular Fuel)
City (RWD/AWD) 19 / 18 16 / 15 17 / 17
Highway (RWD/AWD) 27 / 25 24 / 23 25 / 24
Combined (RWD/AWD) 22 / 20 19 / 18 20 / 20

The Genesis GV80 Won’t Have the Cool Tech From the Concept

Everything We Know About the Genesis GV80 (Leaks Included)
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The interior of the GV80 will change quite a bit compared to the concept.

The leaked interior image shows some similarities like the two-spoke steering wheel and the digital instrument cluster, but we do have a limited view, so we can’t see much else outside of this. We do see a screen perched atop the dash, however, it’s taller and far less futuristic from what we saw on the concept. It could extend further to the passenger side, but I wouldn’t expect the same 22-inch screen and the graphics – much like those on the instrument cluster – won’t be anywhere near as cool as those of the concept. We can also make out that the center console has changed, as did the center stack. There are now HVAC vents in the middle and what appears to be an HVAC control knob just ahead of the center console. Even the steering wheel and controls have been toned down. So, while it will be luxurious and comfortable, the level of cool tech will probably drop significantly.

Don’t Expect the Four-Seat Arrangement At First

Everything We Know About the Genesis GV80 (Leaks Included)
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The GV80 Concept was shown off with, for lack of a better phrase, four captain’s chairs for a 2+2 seating arrangement.

That four-seat configuration from the concept won’t carry over to the production version of the GV80.

You should expect to see a normal bench seat back there to make the GV80 more suitable for families. This will cut back on the luxury a bit, but it will bring the GV80 more inline with the segment it resides in. In fact, the GV80 will be large enough that a smaller third-row of seats could be offered – it may not be standard but it would make for a good option on the list.

If Genesis decides to forgo competing with the M and AMG models in the midsize, it could decide to offer a super-luxurious version instead. I’d expect this to happen with the GV90 full-size SUV but the GV80 could be a candidate for this treatment. If that’s the case, you can expect the four-seat layout to return.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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