We keep ranting that the sedan is dead, but automakers keep doing their best to remind us why we liked them so much in the first place. Like this latest from Genesis. The all-new G80 combines the brand’s best styling features along with an impressive level of interior luxury to make a model that grabs your attention like no crossover can manage.
Starting with the Genesis shield grille, the nose is set off by the now-trademark Genesis quad lamp headlights. Draw a line from those headlights back through the side vents and it would meet at the quad lamps in the rear, giving the design a wonderfully cohesive look. Above that line are bulging fenders and a parabolic “power line,” as Genesis calls the crease. Then there is the cab-rearward roofline that tapers elegantly into the decklid and should offer more rear headroom as a side benefit.
Inside, that new Genesis steering wheel is the first thing to catch your eye. The chunky twin-spoke design is far from conventional, but the brand says that one of their main design ideals is to be “distinctly Korean,” and while we’re not sure if that wheel is part of that, it certainly sets Genesis apart from any other luxury brand’s interiors. The steering wheel centre bisects the dashboard along with the thin full-width vents and wood trim to separate the upper and lower cabin.
Genesis said it kept the number of actual buttons and switches to aa minimum, but there are still real controls for most HVAC features, which we think are the most important ones. A head-up display, 12.3-inch digital dash cluster, and standard 14.5-inch infotainment screen give you all the information you need, while next to the rotary gear selector is a touch and write capable controller for that big screen. The dash screen is a 3D cluster that can recognize driver eyes to adjust the information it displays, or it can be set back to a more conventional 2D mode. Genesis will offer the sedan with open pore wood trim as well as soft touch fabrics and coatings.
Second-row passengers can get a deep, console-divided pair of seats, and they can be fitted with heating and ventilation. Those seat controls can be changed from up front as well as in the rear. The driver’s seat offers an air-cell-operated stretching mode and posture correction function to reduce driver fatigue.
The G80 will come to Canada with two engines, a 300 hp, 311 lb-ft 2.5L turbo-four and a 3.5L turbo V6 that delivers 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. With the new G80 125 kg lighter than the old, either should offer plenty of shove for this sedan. All-wheel drive will be standard, though the number of gears in the transmission wasn’t mentioned. Canadian cars will also get Active Sound Design standard, letting the driver decide if they want their luxury sedan silent or sonorous.
As you’d expect these days, the G80 will be loaded with active safety features. The list includes smart cruise control with machine learning that accelerates and slows the way it thinks you would, Highway Driving Assist II that can now help with lane changes as well as lane centreing, forward collision avoidance, and blind-spot alerts with collision avoidance assist.
Genesis says that the G80 will arrive to market today in South Korea, headed to North America in the second half of the year. Expect pricing in a few months, following the traditional Genesis all-inclusive pricing model and at-home sales and service concierge.