SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - We don’t get the Genesis brand in South Africa but it is essentially Hyundai’s answer to Lexus and Infiniti, and now the premium division has unleashed its first SUV, which is badged GV80.
You might see a bit of Bentley upfront and a few hints of Aston Martin round back, but the Genesis SUV does have a number of unique touches, such as claw-like split headlights and taillights, which are set to become the Genesis brand’s unique signature.
The large and imposing SUV is built on a rear-wheel-drive platform and offers all-wheel-drive as an option. Interestingly, it also ushers in the Hyundai group’s first six-cylinder diesel engine, which is a 3-litre unit that produces 205kW, although the torque figure is unspecified. Also not detailed as yet are the two turbocharged petrol engine options that will be offered in markets such as the US.
The cabin, from what we can make out in the pictures provided, looks classy enough to compete with practically anything from Europe, and it’s also dripping with advanced technologies.
The dashboard’s centrepiece is a 36.8cm split-screen infotainment system that features a handwriting recognition input system as well as augmented reality navigation that places virtual driving guidelines over actual driving images to allow drivers to recognise roads.
Furthermore, the GV80 features a smart cruise control system with machine learning, which is said to allow autonomous driving similar to that of human drivers, in certain situations.
Genesis is also claiming a world first with its Road Active Noise Cancellation tech, which is said to overcome the limitations of existing noise control technologies by generating sound waves of opposite phases in 0.002 seconds by analysing road noise in real time. This system is said to dramatically reduce irregular, simultaneous road noise.
Another innovative feature for reducing the fatigue of long journeys is the “active motion” driver’s seat, which contains seven air cells.
Like some of Germany’s most luxurious models, the electronically controlled suspension system can also optimise ride comfort by using the front-mounted camera to gather information on the road surface ahead.
You’d expect nothing less than the best available crash structure in a vehicle of this nature, but the Genesis SUV takes that a step further with the fitment of a centre-mounted airbag between the front occupants, as one of 10 crash bags fitted to the vehicle.