Hyundai’s luxury brand is getting its SUV fix on

The Genesis GV80 is the first SUV to wear the “Genesis” nameplate, but it won’t remain by itself for very long. Its smaller sibling, the GV70, is already scheduled to arrive in 2021, giving Hyundai’s upstart luxury brand a Development of the GV70 is ongoing, which explains the batch of spy photos we received from our eagle-eyed spy photographers. The SUV is still largely covered in camouflage wraps, but there are telling signs that the GV70 will share a lot of things with its big brother, not to mention its sedan counterpart, the G70.

Exterior

  • Borrowed cues from G70 sedan
  • Sloping roof
  • Similar to the GV80 in the rear
2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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Genesis did us a solid with the camouflaged wraps on the Genesis GV70.

The cutouts, in particular, reveals more than what we expected from this prototype.

Take the front grille, for example. We get to see parts of it in the form of a rectangular grille that’s not covered in camouflage. But look closer, and you’ll see the pentagonal shape of the grille that clearly identifies this model as a Genesis.

You can also see parts of the headlamps that are divided horizontally by a strip of camouflage separating what we imagine to be the main LED headlamps above the strip and the daytime running lights below the strip. I don’t expect the GV70 to have one big headlamp casing, so that small strip separating the two lighting fixtures is probably covering something that Genesis isn’t ready to show yet.

2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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The SUV’s hood will catch some eyes, too. It sits a little higher than the fenders, though that could just be our eyes playing tricks on us. What’s pretty evident, though, is the SUV’s fenders looking chiseled to the point of sportiness. There are very few flat surfaces in that area of the covered-up GV70, and if you look at the SUV from the side; you’ll also notice how the fenders blend into the shoulder line rather seamlessly.

Speaking of the shoulder line, the GV70’s shoulder line is different from what we’ve observed with its big brother. In the smaller SUV, the shoulder line doesn’t extend to the back the way the GV80’s shoulder line does. It slopes downward as it reaches the rear doors, eventually resting on the level of the rear door handles as it approaches the rear quarter panels. It’s an interesting design trait that should carry some aesthetic differentiation with the GV80.

left right

From the side, the GV70’s roofline doesn’t slope as aggressively as that of the GV80’s. Even the greenhouse looks a tad smaller. That can be explained by the fact that the GV70 is smaller than the GV80.

The rear section also displays similar characteristics to the GV80, specifically the wide, split taillights. The roof-mounted spoiler and the upright exhaust tips are impossible to miss, too.

2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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From a market perspective, it figures that Genesis would give the GV70 a more casual and sportier look than the GV80. It’s likely going to be the smallest among Genesis’ budding SUV lineup, so it should carry more design leeway than the GV80. We won’t know for sure until all the wraps are taken out, but this early, we can already say that Genesis wants the GV70 to have a fresher look than the more upscale GV80.

Interior

  • similar to GV80
  • Premium materials include leather and Alcantara
  • Bench or two-seat configuration in rear
2019 Genesis G70
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We don’t get to see the Genesis GV70’s interior from these spy shots. That said, we did notice the Recaro seats in the front and the roll cage in the back. Neither of these two pieces of equipment will make it in the production version. That much we’re sure of. The Recaro seats, in particular, are typically used for prototype models before the real seats are added during production. Besides, the GV70 is a premium SUV. Recaro seats could be offered as options, or you can even score them in the aftermarket world. But as standard seats? That’s not happening. And don’t even get started on the roll cage. That’s not going to be in the production version of the GV70 unless Genesis wants to severely compromise the interior space of its SUV.

2019 Genesis G70
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What you can expect are premium materials. Lots of them.

The GV70 will carry fine leather, Alcantara, and maybe even a few carbon fiber pieces as added options.

We haven’t seen the dashboard layout of the SUV, but leaked photos of the GV80 revealed a well-appointed dashboard that could also find its way into the GV70. The GV80’s dash was covered in leather with the infotainment screening sitting on top of it. Thin A/C vents separate the upper section of the dashboard from the lower section. The slanted center console actually looks like its latched onto the lower section of the dash as it slides neatly into the center tunnel. We don’t get to see a lot of buttons, switches, and knobs, but there looks to be two separate control panels, one of which likely controls the thermostat while the other — the one with the rotary knobs that sit next to a concealable compartment for the cup holders — controlling the aforementioned infotainment system.

We don’t get to see the seats, but we expect them to be comfortable and well-appointed. The GV70, after all, is still a Genesis model. Nothing less than premium quality will be good enough for the SUV and the segment it’s about to enter.

Drivetrain

  • Shared powertrains with the G70 sedan
  • Inteiror should be similar to the GV80
  • Entry-level 252 horsepower
  • up to 5,000 pounds towing
  • possible adaptive suspension
2019 Genesis G70
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The Genesis GV70 will likely share its powertrain choices with the G70 Sedan

Not much is known about the Genesis GV70’s powertrain, but considering that it will be based on the same platform as the G70 sedan, there’s a good chance that the said platform won’t be the only thing the two models will share. Powertrain options will likely be shared as well, and if that’s the case, prospective customers of the GV70 will have plenty of options to choose from, including a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. If that specific engine doesn’t satisfy your whims, you can also choose from any of these options:

  • A new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 303 horsepower
  • A 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that produces 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque
Genesis G70 specifications
Engine 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 252 HP @ 6,200 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 1,400 RPM
Transmission 8-speed shiftable automatic

Diesel engines could also be offered, though it’s unlikely that these engines will make their way to the U.S. market. These engines have yet to be confirmed, but a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine or a bigger 3.0-liter turbodiesel could be offered in other markets.

2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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Leaked documents have revealed that the two turbocharged engines will also be used on the bigger GV80. It’s also not uncommon for two SUVs from the same brand to share the same engines provided there’s no big gap in the presentation of said models. Don’t sleep on a possible plug-in hybrid option, too. A lot of automakers are already offering this setup on a lot of their SUV models. There’s no reason for Genesis to skip a plug-in hybrid version of the GV70, especially if there’s a lot of money to be made in that sub-segment.

An eight-speed automatic transmission should come standard across the entire GV70 range. That gearbox is responsible for sending power to either the two rear wheels or all four wheels of the SUV depending on the trim and configuration that Genesis decides to adapt to the GV70.

Prices

2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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It’s too early to talk about pricing for the Genesis GV70, in part because Genesis hasn’t even finished the testing phase for the SUV. What we can assume at this point is that the GV70’s price should be close to its sedan counterpart, the G70, which starts at $35,895 for the rear-wheel-drive model and $37,895 for the all-wheel-drive model. Using these figures as a baseline, expect the Genesis GV70’s price to start somewhere around $40,000 for the base 2.0-liter model. The twin-turbo V-6, on the other hand, should be priced from $45,000.

Competition

Porsche Macan

2019 Porsche Macan Exterior
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The Genesis GV70 will have no shortage of competitors. That’s the challenge for Genesis. Even more challenging, the scope of rivals covers a broad spectrum of automakers, ranging from the German trio of Mercedes (the GLC-Class), BMW (the X1 and X2), and Audi (the Q3), as well as another German automaker that has proven itself to be one of the best SUV makers in the business. The Porsche Macan is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best luxury compact SUVs in the market. It combines Porsche’s impeccable engineering qualities with premium refinement, powerful engine options, and driving and handling qualities that are considered some of the best in the business. The Macan comes with several engine choices ranging from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to a power-packed 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that churns out 348 ponies and 354 pound-feet of twist. Porsche is also offering the Macan Turbo with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 that produces 434 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. This version, admittedly, is well out of the reach of the Genesis GV70. All this is to say that the Macan is a tough rival for the G70. It has everything you want in a luxury compact SUV, and it also happens to wear Porsche’s badge. About the only thing that could prevent you from buying the Macan is its $50,900 base price, but if you’re splitting hairs between a few thousand dollars, you might as well just buy the Macan.

Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Macan

Conclusion

2022 Genesis GV70 Exterior Spyshots
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There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding the Genesis GV70, and it’s not just because it’s coming from a brand that still has a lot to prove in the premium market. Sure, Genesis has the full backing of Hyundai to support it, and from what it has shown with its premium sedans, the luxury automaker has proven that it can build models that can compete with the German and European elite. But the premium SUV market is a different animal altogether. The Genesis GV70 will compete against established automakers that have years of experience behind them. That’s not to say that the GV70 won’t succeed. It’s going to have a lot of support when it comes out. It just has to prove that it can compete with the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. It’s a tall order, but if you want to reach the top of the mountain, you have to climb it first.

  • Leave it
    • Has plenty of competition
    • Will have to prove itself
    • Won’t come out until 2021
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 More
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