Korean automaker’s mid-size luxury sedan is all set to tussle with the European big boys

Two years after introducing the Genesis G80, a revised and upgraded version of the luxury sedan has been caught testing in Germany. Even with the heavy camouflage, it’s clear that the new G80 is bigger and more identifiable than its predecessor. Genesis will unveil the G80 in 2019, with a market launch scheduled around the last part of the same year.

2020 Genesis G80 Exterior

2020 Genesis G80 Exterior Spyshots
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By our admission, the current Genesis G80 already looks like a car worthy of its status. But we’re intrigued about what Genesis has in store for us with the revised model that’s doing some test runs in Germany. There’s still a good amount of camouflage on the car, but the heavy wraps are gone, giving us a look at the sedan’s wide front grille and the shape of the front fenders.

The headlights also look different. The twin element configuration is familiar, though. That’s because we’ve already seen it, specifically on the GV80 Concept that Genesis unveiled last year.

Don’t be surprised by this inclusion; Genesis design chief Luc Donckerwolke has hinted in the past that the GV80 will play a prominent role in how future Genesis models are styled.

Perhaps those twin element headlights become staples of the premium brand’s design language moving forward.

The overall shape of the new G80 also shows a more dynamic luxury sedan. The prototype’s sloping roofline creates the same profile as models like the Mercedes CLS and Audi 7, two models that Genesis happens to be targeting with the G80. Throw it the lower waistline and the wider hips, and it’s beginning to look like Genesis isn’t messing around with the G80 anymore. The hood is longer, too. Combine that with the shorter overhangs and the prominent shoulder line, and you have a full-bodied sedan that exudes the kind of luxury confidence that it’s going to need if it goes up against the likes of the CLS and the A7.

2020 Genesis G80 Exterior Spyshots
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There are fewer noticeable details in the rear, but look closer, and you might notice the tailgate, which appears to end with a small rear wing that’s all covered up in the black wraps. The taillights are also different, though it’s hard to visualize what it looks like with wraps covering a big part of them. Given the design of the headlamps and the design inspiration behind them, don’t be surprised if Genesis also adopts the taillights found on the GV80 Concept.

2020 Genesis G80 Interior

2018 Genesis G80 Sport Interior
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We don’t get a good look at the Genesis G80’s interior, but for the sake of the mid-size luxury sedan, here’s to hoping that Genesis has big improvements in store in this section.

The current cabin of the G80 is fine, but it doesn’t stand out. If Genesis wants the G80 to take a piece of the luxury sedan pie, it has to have an interior that stands out.

The biggest room for improvement is the dashboard and center stack. Again, the current G80 has solid versions of the two. The dashboard, for example, comes with classy matte wood trim that extends to the door trim panels. The rest of the dashboard is covered in leather, making for a solid one-two combination with the wood trim. The current G80 also has a good amount of buttons, knobs, and switches, all of which are located — and neatly arranged — below the eight-inch touchscreen display unit with navigation. But there also lies the issue.

2018 Genesis G80 Sport Interior
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Genesis should completely do away with the all the buttons. They’re fine on a model like the G70, but the G80 is packaged as a worthy rival to the A7 and the CLS. The less is more idea works here, especially when you can combine all those buttons and knobs and turn them into a separate digital display unit. Doing so would give the G80 a more advanced functionality that fits into the image it wants to convey.

The rest of the Genesis G80’s interior is what you’d expect. It’s premium to the hilt. We don’t expect the new model to be any different. If anything, improvements are in order, whether it’s in the quality of the materials or all the new features.

2020 Genesis G80 Drivetrain and Performance

2018 Genesis G80 Sport Drivetrain
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At this point, Genesis hasn’t released powertrain details for the revised G80. We do know that this isn’t a next-generation model so expect the same powertrains to continue on the new model. That includes a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, and a 5.0-liter V-8 engine. A hybrid version should also be in the cards.

Diving into the specifics, the base version of the Genesis is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 unit that produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque.

The twin-turbo V-6, on the other hand, packs 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This version, called the G80 Sport, was only added to the lineup in the 2018MY. If neither G80 3.8 nor the G80 3.3T Sport aren’t powerful enough. you can opt for the range-topping G80 5.0 Ultimate, which features a 5.0-liter Tau V-8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

There’s a good chance that all three engines are given power upgrades, but even if they did get the bumps, don’t expect them to be significant enough to completely change the performance capabilities of the luxury sedan.

2020 Genesis G80 Prices

2020 Genesis G80 Exterior Spyshots
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Pricing for the current Hyundai G80 starts at $41,750. An all-wheel-drive version retails for $44,250. In addition to all-wheel drive, it also gets heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Throw in the available packages — the Premium Package and the Ultimate Package — and the price can go up to close to $50,000. The G80 3.3T Sport, on the other hand, is priced from $55,250 while the range-topping G80 5.0 Ultimate begins at $57,000.

Obviously, the updated version of the luxury sedan will all be more expensive than the current model. The increase in prices usually sits between $2,000 to $4,000 depending on what new items are added to the sedan.

2020 Genesis G80 Competition

BMW 5 Series

2017 BMW 5 Series
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If the Genesis G80 wants to compete with the big boys from Europe, it’s going to have to compete with the BMW 5 Series, considered as one of the titans of its segment. The current 5 Series received its facelift back in 2017, making it a ripe competitor to the upcoming facelifted G80. The 5er has its own engine lineup, including the all-too-familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter inline-six engines that are staples in the model. The base four-cylinder produces cranks out 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque while the bigger inline-six produces 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. A 4.4-liter V-8 engine came into the scene in 2017, ushering in the M550i xDrive. The range-topping version’s V-8 unit produces 456 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Pricing for the BMW 5 Series starts at $51,200 and goes all the way up to $72,100.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 5 Series.

Volvo S90

2017 Volvo S90 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Here’s one thing we know about the upcoming Genesis G80: it needs to step up its game because the competition is getting fiercer by the day. One of the most exciting models to enter the segment is the Volvo S90. It’s probably everyone’s favorite model at this point, and there’s good reason for that. The new S90 looks sexy and has enough safety and tech features to make BMW and Mercedes sweat. It also has a range of engines that give prospective customers plenty of options to choose from. The turbocharged T5 unit, for example, cranks out 254 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, while the T6, which uses both a turbocharger and a supercharger, generates 316 horses and 295 pound-feet. There are diesel options, too, beginning with the D4, which produces 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The D5 trim produces 225 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque while the top-of-the-line model, the T8 hybrid, produces 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. Pricing for the Volvo S90 starts at $46,950.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo S90


2020 Genesis G80 Exterior Spyshots
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Genesis has a lot on its plate with the G80 mid-size luxury sedan. There’s pressure on all sides for the sedan to live up to expectations. The current G80 has done a good job introducing the brand in the world of luxury, but now it’s on the updated model to make sure that the foundation set by the current G80 has something good to stand on.

  • Leave it
    • The market is tough and super competitive
    • Still has a lot to prove
    • We still don’t know what the final version looks like

Further reading

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Genesis G80.

Genesis Steps Up To Take A Swing At SUVs With The Sleek GV80 Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the 2017 Genesis GV80 Concept.

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Read more Genesis news.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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