2017 Genesis G80 Sport
The G80 lineup gets a new, sportier model with a new engineby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 20:19
Considering the Genesis brand is a new entity, the Genesis G80 is technically a brand new car in the market. First on sale for the 2017 model year, the car has come off as a big hit, effectively fusing together power, luxury, and safety into one very sexy package. But, there were two problems with the G80. The first problem is that it was nowhere near as stylish or aggressive as the Genesis New York Concept, and the second problem is that there was no middle model – leaving consumers to choose between the 311-horsepower V-6 and the 420-horsepower V-8 models. For the 2018 model year, both of those problems have been addressed as Genesis has decided to refresh the G80 and introduce a new trim level called known as the 3.3T Sport. This refreshing has brought new, better-looking fascias to the front and rear, the availability of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive across the entire range, new safety features, and a new standard 18-inch wheel design. On top of that, the new 3.3t Sport offers up a cool 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque – just the right amount to position it between the G80 3.8 and the G80 5.0.
It seems pretty fast for such a new brand to offer up a model refresh after just a year on the market, but that just goes to show how serious the Genesis brand is about winning over consumers and keeping competing models like the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 at bay. The new Sport trim should prove to be a breath of fresh air for anyone who wants more than 300 ponies on tap without having to step up to the range-topping 5.0 model. So, will Genesis garner new customers with the introduction of this new trim level and the refresh of the entire range? Only time will tell, but let’s take a look at the new 3.3t Sport and see what it’s all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis G80 Sport.
2017 Genesis G80 Sport
Horsepower @ RPM:365 @ 6000
Torque @ RPM:376 @ 1300
Compared to the non-sport models, the 3.3t Sport features a completely unique look. The new headlights available across the line feature LED running lights along the bottom, outside edge, and to edge of each lens, which is a nice touch, but the real news is the exterior enhancements that come courtesy of the Sport trim. First on the list up front is the new grille mesh and grille surround. Instead of having a rectangular mesh, the Sport gets a copper-colored, diamond mesh. The same mesh and color accenting can be found in the corner air vents and the lower air damn. The other big that sets this trim apart from the rest up front is the aggressive fascia. The corner vents are now larger, the air dam is more upswept, and the defining lines are sharper and more sculpted. The Sport trim even has a set of nostrils between the grille and the air dam.
It’s bold, aggressive, and pleasing to look at. It’s got just the right amount of darkness on the outside to appeal to those who like to black out a few things, without being too overboard or overly generic.
Moving over to the side profile, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but the window molding, mirror covers, wheels, and the cladding on the bottom of all doors are finished in Dark Chrome. There’s also small copper strips on the door handles as well. Moving to the rear, the Sport gets new taillights that offer six different light modules, a red LED strip that runs the width of the lens, and small LED lights at the bottom that serve as signal lights. Down below the bumper is a little more sculpted than before, and the diffuser-like element adds a nice touch too. Dual, chrome exhaust outlets fill each corner of the fascia to round off the exterior package. Two colors that are exclusive to this trim are available – Polar Ice and Sevilla Red.
You’ve really got to tip your hat to Genesis for finding a way to differentiate this new trim from the rest of the lineup. It’s bold, aggressive, and pleasing to look at. It’s got just the right amount of darkness on the outside to appeal to those who like to black out a few things, without being too overboard or overly generic. It’s a nice package, but there’s a lot more to this trim than just the exterior, so let’s move on a little bit.
As far as competition goes, the G80 competes against the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series. Both are offered in a number of trim levels, but none of those trim levels vary each other as much as the sport varies from the 3.8 and 5.0 models. The most relevant model from the BMW 5 Series lineup would be the BMW 535i. It gets a set of 18-inch V-Spoke wheels that are wrapped in 245/45-series, run-flat tires to go with LED fog lights, exterior trim pieces in chrome, Xenon adaptive headlights, Corona headlight rings, power-folding, heated mirrors, and non-metallic paint as standard equipment. It’s not quite as aggressive as the Sport, but it does offer its own unique look, and you really can’t beat BMW’s signature grille.
Moving over to the Audi A6 gives you a completely different look that is a little more in-line with what the Sport is offering. The Audi comes with a large massive grille up front, and a small blocked off air dam down below to go with non-functional air vents in each corner. To be fair, the G80 Sport does have some blockage behind the corner vents, but they aren’t completely blocked off. The Audi rides on double, five-spoke wheels and features mild wheel arch flares to help expose its sporty nature. Around back, the A6 is somewhat bland compared to the sport, with a wide insert at the bottom of the fascia that houses rectangular exhaust outlets, and a wide but sculpted set of body lines to emphasize the car’s width. Like the G80 sport, the A6 has a small fin-like protrusion that is stamped into the rear decklid and rear quarters.
|Genesis G80||BMW 5 Series||Audi A6|
Genesis hasn’t been nice enough to provide us shots of the Sport’s interior quite yet, but it didn’t completely leave us hanging as it filled us in with some information. As such, this model comes standard with a leather sport seats to go with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, both of which are sewn together with a copper contrast stitching. Genuine carbon fiber trim is fitted to the upper door trim panels and the face of the dash. Wedged into the center stack sits a 9.2-inch touchscreen display complete with navigation, multi-view camera, and a connect to the Lexicon premium sound system with 17 speakers. There is also wireless charging available for compatible phones. The seats can be had in black or gray, while a black microfiber suede headlight gives the interior a more luxurious feel.
Note: Standard G80 interior shown here.
This model comes standard with a leather sport seats to go with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, both of which are sewn together with a copper contrast stitching.
These features aside, let’s not forget about how inviting the G80’s cabin is in general. The high-sitting center console gives the driver a feeling of command, just like you feel when you sit inside a fighter jet, while the instrument cluster with its 4.2-inch TFT display makes you forget that you’re sitting in a Korean car altogether. The seats offer ample body support for those who like more spirited driving, and the placement of trim inserts is a prime example of how less can be more. The interior is two-tone in nature, with the carpet, roof liner, upper dash, and steering wheel in a darker color, while the lower dash and all lower trim panels are in a much brighter, contrasting color. As I said before, the seats in the sport model can be had in black or gray, with black being the more pleasing to look at.
Phone connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the line while new safety features for 2018 include pedestrian detection and driver attention alert. The Sport and all other 2018 trim levels should also benefit from reduced noise pollution from the outside thanks to new NVH improvements. There’s also a host of other goodies, like the fact that the 9.2-inch display is rated at 720p HD, and there’s a 64 GB solid state drive on board for music and photo storage. Bluetooth is standard as is Sirius XM, HD radio, and auxiliary USB jacks. Of particular note is the total passenger volume which sits at 107.7 cubic-feet – enough to beat out the Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes E-Class. Also, it features 15.3 cubic-feet of cargo space with is better than anything the competition offers.
The BMW 5 Series (left) offers a lot of style and comfort, which is pretty standard from German-designed vehicles. On the technology front, there is a 10.25-inch touchscreen display that provides access to features like Navigation, phone connectivity, various vehicle functions, and full control of the audio system. The navigation system gets real-time traffic updates, while phone connectivity can be had via USB or Bluetooth. With the advanced phone connectivity features, the system even offers Mobile Office features and can be equipped with method dictation with an option, third-party subscription. Rounding out the system is the addition of 3D maps, 200 GB hard drive with 20 GB dedicated to music storage, voice command, BMW online, and BMW TeleService. The instrument cluster is analog in nature, but does have a TFT display screen in the center to serve as a driver information center. The seats are 14-way adjustable with four-way lumbar support. A memory system is in place for the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors. Various colors and materials can be chosen for the interior, but the G80 Sport’s primary competitor, the 535i, comes standard with Dakota Leather upholstery and dark wood trim – a very nice setup for a car of this caliber.
If you’re considering the Audi A6, you’ll find that it has an interior that is hard to pass up. The dashboard integrates almost seamlessly into the door trim panels while the whole interior offers a three-tone appearance that is both luxurious and excessively pleasing. The instrument cluster is an analog unit with a TFT display in the middle, but unlike the G80 Sport, the MMI infotainment display is perched atop the dash like a small floating tablet. The dash itself is almost always black as is the upper door trim, while the insert on the face of the dash can be had in various wooden layouts that match the inserts on the upper door trim and the forward portion of the center console. The cabin itself is inviting a rather simplistic in nature but certainly screams luxury. Technology features include a 4G LTE hotspot for up to eight devices, streaming internet radio, voice control, navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity. Safety features include side assist, active lane assist, secondary collision assist, and an option night vision system because those LED headlights might not be enough on the darkest nights.
|Genesis G80||BMW 5 Series||Audi A6|
|Front Head Room||41.1-inches||40.5-inches||37.8-inches|
|Front Shoulder Rooms||58.3-inches||58.3-inches||57.5-inches|
|Front Leg Room||45.7-inches||41.4-inches||41.3-inches|
|Rear Head Room||38.2-inches||38.3-inches||37.8-inches|
|Rear Shoulder Room||58.3-inches||56.2-inches||56.3-inches|
|Rear Leg Room||35.0-inches||35.3-inches||37.4-inches|
|Interior Volume||123 cu-ft||116 cu-ft||112.1 cu-ft|
|Cargo Volume||15.3 cu-ft||14.0 cu-ft||14.1 cu-ft|
In addition to exclusive paint colors, unique exterior styling, and special interior accommodations, the G80 Sport also gets its own engine in the lineup as well. The unit in question is a 3.3-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 that delivers a fairly decent 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm. The engine mates to a sport-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire technology as standard equipment. If you don’t know what that means, it means there is absolutely no linkage between the gear shifter and the transmission. This means that there is no shifting cable and no physical shifter arm on the outside of the transmission. When the car is shifted into gear, the computer controls solenoids directly inside the transmission to control fluid pressure distribution. To help enhance the G80 Sport’s sporty character, it is equipped with a Continuous Damping Control suspension system that is said to offer enhanced dynamics and superior ride quality.
The unit in question is a 3.3-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 that delivers a fairly decent 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm.
Outside of this, the Sport is built on the same ultra-rigid platform as the 3.8 and 5.0 models, which means more than half of its platform is made from high-strength steel. Genesis did say that the G80 Sport can be had with rear-wheel drive or with its HTRAC AWD system, both of which allow for various driving modes to help fine tune power for different conditions. For now, that’s all we really know about the G80 Sport, as Genesis has yet to mention any real performance numbers. But, we’ll be keeping our eyes open so stay tuned for future updates.
When it comes to the BMW 5 Series, the closest competitor is the 535i and its 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, Inline-six. It delivers 302 horsepower and 5,800 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with a manual transmission, it can hit the 60-mph sprint in 5.7 seconds while the automatic affords the same sprint in 5.5 seconds. Top speed is listed at 130 mph, but it is electronically limited, so it could potentially go faster with a proper ECU remap. Fuel economy sits steady at 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Assistance features include dynamic stability control, brake fade compensation, start-off assist, brake drying, brake stand-by, and dynamic traction control. There is double wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link system in the rear. All four wheels get ventilated disc brakes with ABS, dynamic brake control, and cornering brake control.
Considering an Audi that competes with the G80 Sport means you have to go with the A6 Premium Plus trim level. This model can be had with the 3.0-liter gasoline engine that delivers 333 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque between 2,900 and 5,300 rpm. Unlike the G80 and BMW 5 Series, this 3.0-liter is supercharged and uses an aluminum block and cylinder heads. With 24 valves controlled by dual overhead camshafts, the A6 can hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 130 mph. Again, this top speed is limited because, well, U.S., so with the right ECU remap you can certainly go quite a bit faster.
On the suspension front, the A6 differs quite a bit from the 5 and the G80. The biggest example of this is the five-link front suspension and the trapezoidal-link rear suspension. IF you’ve never driven an Audi, you should at least give the A6 a healthy, spirited test drive, as you can definitely notice the difference afforded by the suspension setup. Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mph on the highway, which is about par for a vehicle of this caliber, but we’re still waiting to see what kind of numbers the G80 sport gets, so we’ll have to reserve judgment on that front for now.
|Genesis G80 Sport||BMW 535i||Audi A6 Premium Plus|
|Engine||3.3-liter turbo||3.0-liter turbo||3.0-liter supercharged|
|Weight||TBA||3,957 lbs||4,144 lbs|
|0-60 mph||TBA||6MT 5.7 sec/8AT 5.5 sec||5.1 seconds|
Pricing at this point is a mystery, as Genesis has yet to divulge any information on that front. And, the G80’s current pricing schedule isn’t any help either. Logically, as far as power goes, the G80 Sport should sit between the 3.8 Ultimate and the 5.0 Ultimate, but that leaves no room for pricing between models as the 3.8 Ultimate starts out at $50,350 in rear-wheel drive and $52,840 with AWD while the 5.0 starts out at $54,550. Check out this pricing chart to see what I mean:
|G80 3.8 RWD||$41,100|
|G80 3.8 AWD||$43,900|
|G80 3.8 Premium RWD||$46,150|
|G80 3.8 Premium AWD||$48,650|
|G80 3.8 Ultimate RWD||$50,350|
|G80 3.8 Ultimate AWD||$52,850|
|G80 5.0 Ultimate RWD||$54,550|
So, just where will the G80 Sport fit in? There doesn’t really seem to be a logical place. With more power and unique styling, there’s no way that Genesis will place it at the beginning of the lineup. And, there’s really not enough room price-wise to put it between the 3.8 and the 5.0 as the current pricing structure sits. Chances are, the Sport could be priced around $49,000, slotting it between the 3.8 Premium and 3.8 Ultimate, but I have a feeling we’ll see the G80’s pricing stretch out a bit to accommodate the new model and make it competitive within its own lineup. For now, we’ll just have to wait, but we will update this section as soon as information becomes available.
Considering the G80 Sport competes pretty fairly in most departments with the 535i ad A6 Premium Plus, pricing is fairly easy to cover. Options, taxes, and destination charges aside, the 535i starts out at $55,850 in standard configuration while the A6 Premium Plus starts out at $51,600. Of course, there are more options for either model than you can count on two hands, so if you go wild on the order from, you could find yourself closer to the $60,000 territory, if not higher.
As a model that competes against the 5 series and the Audi A6, the G80 also takes on the Mercedes E-Class as well. The E-Class features a fairly sporty exterior for what it is, however, like the 5 Series, the corner air intakes are all for looks as opposed to function. It does have some striking body lines on the hood and the side that do it a lot of justice. Here’s the problem, though. While the E-Class does compete with the G80 as far as size goes, it is in no way superior to the G80. To start, the E-Class sedan is only available as the E300 here in the U.S., which means it gets juice from a 2.0-liter four-banger with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. 60 mph comes fairly quick at 6.3 seconds, but chances are the G80 Sport will run laps around the E-Class here in the U.S. Oh, and there’s the pricing situation. The E-Class starts out at $52,150 or $54,640 with AWD. AWD increases it’s 60-mph sprint time to 6.3 seconds. So, as far as getting the best bang for your buck, buy anything but the E-Class.
Read more about the Mercedes E-Class here.
When the G80 first made its debut earlier this year, I sure did complain about it not being as aggressive as the concept and the big middle area between the 3.8 and the 5.0. But, I never expected Genesis to answer back so quickly, and not with a dedicated model either. It still has the problem of where the new Sport will end up in the official lineup structure, so I’m curious to see what the Koren brand does to rectify the pricing situation. Genesis does have a unique opportunity to take out the competition with better pricing, and that could be the thing that helps make the brand successful. On the other hand, the G80 lineup is already pretty crowded, so I’m really hoping we don’t see another G80 model anytime soon. It’s time for Genesis to work with what it has and develop new models, not more iterations of the same ones.