2020 Genesis GV80 celebrates a new decade as the brand’s first luxury SUV

Hyundai’s luxury arm Genesis is busy updating its portfolio. The brand is ushering the new year by releasing some official shots of the 2020 GV80. It’s the brand’s first-ever luxury SUV and is based on an all-new rear-wheel-drive platform that won’t be shared with other Hyundai or Kia vehicles.

From that alone, it’s clear the new Genesis GV80 is a special car. It’s the fourth vehicle in Genesis’ lineup and will join the G70, G80, and the recently-facelifted G90 flagship sedan.

Genesis is slated to launch two crossovers starting with the GV80

Apparently, the all-new Genesis GV80 is just the start. Genesis is also looking for a late 2020 or early 2021 launch for the smaller GV70 compact SUV. But for now, all eyes are on the GV80, which is essentially a seven-seat midsize SUV. The new GV80 is competing for dominance in a hotly-contested territory dominated by the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and even the Audi Q7.

“Over the last four years, Genesis established itself as a respected luxury brand with superior vehicle quality and a lineup of class-leading sedans with charismatic and discriminating style,” said William Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “With the launch of GV80, Genesis will elevate expectations for excellence within the luxury SUV market.”

And it so happens the Genesis GV80 turned out to be quite a looker

Whether you admit it or not, there’s something right about the Genesis GV80’s aristocratic yet athletic design. In fact, it pretty much resembles the G90 sedan complete with those quad-LED headlight strips and oversized crest grille.

Speaking of the grille, the Genesis GV80 has a large one, indeed. But somehow, it doesn’t look polarizing or appalling at all. For all intents and purposes, the GV80’s grille is perhaps the best-looking oversized grille in a modern SUV we’ve seen in a long while.

Truth be told, the Genesis GV80 is a refreshing sight, and that’s a good thing.

It isn’t far away from the futuristic looks of the Genesis GV80 Concept, either

2017 Genesis GV80 Concept

If you’re sharp enough to remember, Genesis released the GV80 Concept at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. With a sleek and futuristic design along with those aforementioned quad headlight strips and exaggerated crest grille, the concept left people wondering about when Genesis is planning to launch its much-awaited SUV.

2017 Genesis GV80 Concept

Of course, some of the wonderful features from the concept were slightly watered-down in the production version. This includes the door handles and side mirrors. In the GV80 concept, the vehicle had pop-out door handles and slim camera stalks for the side mirrors.

It has standard RWD and optional AWD

The 2020 Genesis GV80 will come standard with rear-wheel drive. However, Genesis is quick to point out there’s an AWD version waiting in the wings. We’re also expecting the same engine options as seen in the restyled 2020 Genesis G90.

This includes a standard turbocharged V6 motor rated at 365-horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque and a burly V8 with upwards of 420-horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. We’re also expecting both engines to have an eight-speed automatic transmission.

As expected, the GV80 has a luxurious and minimalist interior

Even the interior bears a striking resemblance of the GV80 Concept’s minimalist approach with slim air vents, a fully digital instrument cluster, and an ultra-wide infotainment screen.

Meanwhile, the center console and door panels are plastered with generous pieces of genuine wood trim. The steering wheel is a four-spoke affair and is designed to mimic a vintage two-spoke tiller at first glance. We also like the quilted leather seats and the push-button shifter.

More details are expected to surface as the 2020 Genesis GV80 premieres in South Korea later this month. According to Genesis, the GV80 will be sold globally and is expected to hit U.S. showrooms later this year.