Not unlike a classic rock band of the same name, Genesis is bringing in a few frontman to juice sales and give the marque a boost. After spending several years and untold millions trying to sell cars to a buying public hungry for SUVs, the Korean luxury brand is finally adding a high-riding 4×4 vehicle to their showrooms.
It’s called the GV80 and is based on a new rear-wheel drive platform. All-wheel drive will be standard equipment in Canada, because winter. With available three-row seating, the GV80 is set to be the fourth model in the Genesis lineup, shacking up with a trio of sedans. In case it isn’t obvious, Genesis’ naming convention will affix GV to its SUVs and crossovers with sedans earning a G notation. Those consonants will be followed by two digits denoting the vehicle’s place in the corporate pecking order.
“Over the last four years, Genesis has established itself as a respected luxury brand with superior vehicle quality and a lineup of class-leading sedans with charismatic and discriminating style,” said William Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “With the launch of GV80, Genesis will elevate expectations for excellence within the luxury SUV market.”
The brand released shadowy images of the GV80 as the clock struck midnight in Korea, meaning North American outlets had the shots deposited in their inbox just as all hands were dipping into a dose of New Year’s Eve revelry. It shares many styling cues with the large-and-in-charge G90 sedan, including split taillights which appear to span the width of the car plus a front grille big enough on which to cook a side of beef.
GV80’s interior appears to be hewing to the current trend of minimalism, with an enormous infotainment screen placed high on the dash. What appears to be a rotary jog button controlling the jumbotron resides just north of the electronic gear selector on GV80’s centre console. To its right are a quartet of off-road controls including downhill descent control, so expect Genesis to use these gritty features as a talking point in their inevitable luxury-with-capability advertising campaign. Ventilation registers on the dash are thin as razors and look great.
Price? Engines? Firm North American release dates? Those questions remain unanswered for now. However, this country’s Genesis dealers will surely welcome any and all 4×4 help they can get, proving once again that a new frontman can make all the difference.