2017 New York - Genesis GV80 Concept previews the brand's first SUV

Visitors to the 2016 New York International Auto Show were in for a visual treat from Genesis that had the sexy Hybrid Sports Sedan Concept on display. An year later, Hyundai’s luxury division is aiming for a repeat act, this time with a large SUV, something that would fit well in Genesis’ lineup. The two-strong portfolio is all set to expand to six by 2020 and two of them are said to be SUVs.

Look past it’s alphanumeric nomenclature and the GV80 Concept is an impressive vehicle that teases what’s in store from the South Korean luxury brand.

If the overall shape and stance remind you of one Bentley Bentayga, it’s not a mere coincidence. Hyundai poached Luc Donckerwolke, previously Bentley’s chief designer, before spinning off the luxury division and the gentleman is now in charge of giving Genesis an identity of its own. Well then, the GV80 Concept could be the solution Genesis had been looking for. 

The familiar ‘crest’ grille takes prime place up front underlined by a lower grille surround. The latter forms the base of a prominent center spine that runs the full length of the car on either sides. Slim quad headlights with ‘jewel-like’ detailing and matching taillights with laser-lit fiber optics stand out while conceptual touches abound in the form of massive 23-inch alloy wheels, flush-mounted door handles and cameras in place of rear view mirrors. Proportions are spot-on – long and wide with an almost-flat hood, a long wheelbase and minimal front and extended rear overhangs – bestowing the GV80 Concept with the stance of a proper luxury automobile.

A lot of work has gone in to the details. The bespoke ‘Ice Granite’ finish in the external panels, the partly-vented spokes that match the see-through pattern in the B- and C-pillars, the low cut-lines in the front fenders and the spike in the lower front grille with a matching cue on the high-mounted brake light at the rear are just a few of them.

It’s in the inside the GV80 Concept makes a far better impression. From the sexy steering wheel with thin aluminium inserts that double up as spokes to the bridge instrument panel housing a massive 22-inch curved OLED infinity display screen that presents two distinct zones for the driver and the front passenger, the cabin is well thought-out and beautifully-crafted. An array of materials – red leather with quilted diamond stitching, suede, polished aluminium and ash wood – blend well to give the cabin an opulent look and feel. The center console tunnel runs the length of the cabin, splitting it into four distinct seating areas with individual touch-capacitive infotainment controls.

We wish the product planners at Genesis manage to please their bosses with a positive business case and come out with a production SUV with interiors similar to this concept. That would be one hell of a differentiator for the brand that’s trying hard to be different amidst the Mercs, Audis, BMWs, Jags and Volvos. 

Genesis claims the GV80 Concept has been designed to house an advanced plug-in hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, underlining Hyundai’s commitment to this technology. No other details have been released though. Considering the practicality aspects and lack of refueling infrastructure, the production model is likely to come with the 3.3-liter V6 or the 5.0-liter V8 that power the G80 and G90 sedans.

In the SUV-obsessed times we are in right now, Genesis can’t survive with just a pair of sedans. The sooner the GV80 Concept-derived SUV goes into production, the better it is for them. Over to you then, Hyundai.


  1. Awesome Detailing
    Nice article
    Good Job Aravind

    1. Thanks for the complement and taking time out to comment. Keep reading the posts and send in your comments/feedback.