Autos

Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis launches G80 and GV80 to rival BMW, Audi and Mercedes


TIGER WOODS knows all about Genesis.

But until he crashed one, much of the world didn’t.

No one new about Hyundai's luxury Genesis brand, including the GV80 above, until Tiger Woods crashed one

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No one new about Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand, including the GV80 above, until Tiger Woods crashed oneCredit: simon thompson
The Genesis G80 saloon

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The Genesis G80 saloonCredit: simon thompson

Now the luxury arm of Hyundai wants to secure a foothold in Britain, starting with these two cars: The G80 executive saloon and the big GV80 SUV.

The GV80 is the one Tiger crashed, so we all know it is safe. In fact, it has just secured the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. 

Next month we’ll see the smaller G70 and GV70. And by this time next year, there will be EIGHT Genesis models, three of them electric.

Busy, then.

But will a Hyundai in Hugo Boss worry the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes?

The GV80 is the one Tiger crashe

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The GV80 is the one Tiger crasheCredit: Getty – Contributor
The GV80, above, and G80 are quite excellent - they just don’t have the German badge, so they won’t do the numbers

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The GV80, above, and G80 are quite excellent – they just don’t have the German badge, so they won’t do the numbersCredit: simon thompson

Not one bit. The only people you’ll see driving them any time soon will be motoring journalists and Korean diplomats.

Which is a shame because they are quite excellent. They just don’t have the German badge, so they won’t do the numbers.

Is anyone really going to choose a left-field G80 over, say, a Mercedes E-Class, or a GV80 over an Audi Q7? Not likely.

Genesis knows this, which is why it is making a big song and dance about its USP: Putting the customer first. “Service over sales.”

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Noise-cancelling tech (like your headphones) means it’s whisper-quiet, unless you press a button for more engine roar

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Noise-cancelling tech (like your headphones) means it’s whisper-quiet, unless you press a button for more engine roarCredit: simon thompson
The G80 saloon has a 2.2-litre 210hp diesel, rear-wheel drive, at £37k

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The G80 saloon has a 2.2-litre 210hp diesel, rear-wheel drive, at £37kCredit: simon thompson

And that’s why each car comes with a  butler. If you fancy trying one, a Genesis personal assistant will even bring one to your door to save you time.

Decide to buy one? They’ll bring it for a full handover.

It’s the same with servicing. Genesis will collect your car and drop it back at your convenience, while leaving you with a like-for-like courtesy car and  you get five years’ free servicing and breakdown assistance.

Genesis promises transparent pricing — no discounts, no hidden extras — and the personal assistants have been hired from retail and hospitality for their service skills.

No salesmen on commission, then. Genesis will have spaces at places like Westfield London but you order online.

If you fancy trying one, a Genesis personal assistant will even bring one to your door to save you time

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If you fancy trying one, a Genesis personal assistant will even bring one to your door to save you timeCredit: simon thompson
The cabin is really where it’s at, every bell and whistle

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The cabin is really where it’s at, every bell and whistleCredit: simon thompson

Now, let’s have a poke around the cars.

Design is your department but there’s no denying the huge chrome grilles are America-friendly. Maybe they’ll grow on me but I do like the tramline light signature front and back. 

The cabin is really where it’s at. Every bell and whistle. Yet also calm and airy and coated in leather. 

Noise-cancelling tech (like your headphones) means it’s whisper-quiet, unless you press a button for more engine roar.

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Other impressive kit includes that slick 14.5in central touchscreen with augmented-reality satnav.

KEY FACTS: GENESIS G80

Price: £43,150
Engine: 2.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 304hp, 422Nm
0-62mph: 6 secs
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: 25mpg
CO2: 205g/km

Augmented what? It overlays turn arrows on real images of the road. Plus there’s all the usual premium toys, like massaging seats, head-up display, smart cruise control, twin entertainment screens in the back and the 20-odd driver-assistance systems I alluded to earlier. 

One other thing before I forget: Remote-control parking. You can move the car forwards and back-wards while stood beside it using the key fob. Total gimmick but it impressed the kids. As for powertrains, your choices are simple. The G80 saloon has a 2.2-litre 210hp diesel, rear-wheel drive, at £37k.

Or there’s a 2.5-litre 304hp petrol, all-wheel drive, at £43k.

The GV80 has a 3-litre six-cylinder diesel or a 2.5-litre petrol. Both are all-wheel drive, start at £56k and can be optioned with seven seats.

Design is your department but there’s no denying the huge chrome grilles are America-friendly

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Design is your department but there’s no denying the huge chrome grilles are America-friendlyCredit: simon thompson
The GV80 has a 3-litre six-cylinder diesel or a 2.5-litre petrol

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The GV80 has a 3-litre six-cylinder diesel or a 2.5-litre petrolCredit: simon thompson

I actually preferred the G80 saloon. It rides better, steered better and just is better.

So, there you have it: Genesis. Pretty much unknown until Tiger’s accident.

Let’s hope it can make an impression over the next few years and not exit stage left like Infiniti.

KEY FACTS: GENESIS GV80

Price: £56,815
Engine: 3-litre turbo diesel
Power: 278hp, 588Nm
0-62mph: 7.5 secs
Top speed: 143mph
Economy: 25mpg
CO2: 231g/km

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