FROM the external German sedan styling to the winged badge and European driving feel, the Genesis is a creation that wishes to be born of a different heritage.
This is a wannabe on so many fronts. In some areas, the Genesis seems on track to make an impression, on others, it harbours the potential to deliver.
The collection of European talent corralled by Hyundai — led by chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, formerly of Audi and Volkswagen, along with other folks from Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti and BMW — means the Korean brand means business.
Except this Euro group caught on to the Genesis a bit late, and could only have marginal influence on the outcome of the G80.
But that is expected to change with the next Genesis, the G70, which should mark the true test for this Korean stand-alone brand that hopes to eventually give Lexus and Infiniti a run for their yen.
Big Engine For The G80
With its 3.8-litre V6 on board, the G80 poses several other challenges to the brand and its potential customers. In this era of downsizing and turborcharging, why is there this big engine under the hood?
With the push towards electric cars and smaller-capacity vehicles, how well will the G80 be received? Marquee brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have a stranglehold on the mass market “towkay” play, so it’s going to be hard work for the newbie to break into their driveways.
But experiencing the G80 might help in a big way. And so, too, a lighter price tag.
Just shy of 5m in length, the G80 is a big car that offers space as a premium.
There’s loads of legroom and headroom fore and aft, and if you have the seat coolers on, you’ll be able to take to the hot seat.
There’s a sense of the theatrical onboard. The internal cover of the sunroof parts like a stage curtain to access the glass panel proper. There is music when you power up and down.
As you approach the car from the front or side, an image of the logo is thrown on the ground, like a call for Batman. Approach from the rear and the boot pops open…though sometimes that’s not what you necessarily want. Inadvertently displaying valuables stored in the trunk, in a public place, for instance, may lead to some grief.
Oversized vanity mirrors have been installed, presumably to cater to K-Pop stars who might be riding in the Genesis.
While most of these touches create a good first impression, there are aspects of the car that are clearly works, and brand building, in progress.
The engine sounds a bit laboured for a big brute, though performance is not affected by it. The car is able to move quickly, but be mindful of the somewhat spongy brakes. They could have been made a lot more responsive.
The slope of the rear windscreen throws up some serious reflection issues. And the shiny trims around the windows are distracting as they catch the light.
As a new entrant into a crowded space, the G80 could have been lots better. Perhaps it can redeem itself with the next model and find its space in the parade.
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TECH SPECS GENESIS G80
Engine: DOHC Dual-CVVT V6, 24 valves
Max Power: 232kW@6,000rpm
Max Torque: 397Nm@5,000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
0-100kmh: 6.5 seconds
Top Speed: 240kmh
Retail price: *$238,888
Please reconfirm price with dealer, Komoco Motors.
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