The 2021 Genesis G80 Looks Like a Shrunken G90, But in a Good Way
Brand's new design language fits the smaller sedan perfectly
The new Genesis G80 is officially here. At first glance, it looks as if Genesis has taken the refreshed G90, stuck it into a copy machine, and printed out a version 80 percent the original's size. But that doesn't mean it's not absolutely stunning. Genesis has been killing it in terms of design lately, and the new G80 is the last of its models to be brought bang up to date with the brand's new "Athletic Elegance" styling language.
The front of the car mimics the look of the bigger G90, but the grille is slightly smaller and the equal-sign shaped headlights are completely separated, as on the GV80. On the G90, they're one massive headlight unit on either side. The frontal view here is more aggressive than that of the previous G80 in its more luxurious trim level, but not as purposeful as the outgoing G80 Sport's (it's not yet clear if Genesis will once again offer a special Sport model with the new car).
The side profile again apes the G90, but this slightly shorter body really shows off the shoulder line better. Granted, this is a ground-up redesign, not a midcycle facelift like the G90, so the design language should fit the G80 better. It's less restrained than the G90, and the sportback look of the car really shines through here. There is one almost perfectly unbroken line from the base of the A-pillar, up to the roofline, and down to the trailing edge of the trunk. Around back you'll find more G90 influence, but the rear is slightly more pinched to give it that sportier look.
The interior is a mashup of recent Genesis styling cues, too. The center console takes most of its inspiration from the new GV80 SUV, as does the steering wheel. That no doubt means the attention to detail will be second to none. Note how the hazard and engine-start buttons are embedded in their own little cutout in the dashboard trim. There's also a truly massive, 14.5-inch infotainment screen perched neatly on top of the dash, and it's complemented by a three-dimensional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Fabrics, leathers, and open-pore woods are among the available interior finishes.
Three engines will be available in the G80, although one won't get its passport stamped for America. Both of the ones we will get are identical to the GV80's: a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 300 hp at 5,800 rpm and 311 lb-ft between 1,650 and 4,000 rpm is the starter unit, while we'll be able to upgrade to Genesis's new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 with 375 hp at 5,800 rpm and 391 lb-ft from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm. The engine that won't be available stateside is a 2.2-liter diesel four with 207 horsepower and 326 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic will handle shifting duties.
Onboard safety tech includes automated driving with land change via Highway Driving Assist II; a cruise-control system that incorporates AI to assist drivers in some unspecified way; automatic collision detection that can work to mitigate or avoid impacts with pedestrians or cross traffic in approaching intersections; and active blind-spot monitoring and avoidance. Of course, there is plenty of additional whizbangery: automatic parking that works outside of the car via the fob, a touch-sensitive pad on the center tunnel for writing letters and numbers, over-the-air system and software updates, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.
On the whole, we think the new G80 looks ace and represents a real improvement over the previous-generation car, which wasn't exactly ugly or terrible. We look forward to driving the car—which arrives in America in the second half of 2020—to see for ourselves if the style and specs are backed up by the same substance that made the G70 so great.
This story was originally published on March 5, 2020. It has been updated with U.S. marker information and additional photos.