Automotive wonks will remember the Hyundai Genesis – a large, luxury sedan the Korean brand brought to Australia several years ago that essentially competed with the Holden Caprice in the hire car market.
There have been three years since the last Hyundai-badged Genesis cars rolled into dealerships here, and in the meantime, the Korean manufacturer has been busily establishing Genesis as a luxury marque in its own right.
The former Hyundai Genesis is now called the Genesis G80 and overseas, it’s had a comprehensive refresh to suit its incorporation into this nascent luxury brand. The G80 has been locked in for Australia for some time, as has its smaller sibling, the G70 – which shares a platform with the Kia Stinger.
Chasing Cars has followed the Genesis journey closely. Already well established in the United States, there has been a rocky road for the launch of the separate brand here in Australia, punctuated by a number of delays. Most recently, a firm launch date of March 2019 was deferred due to construction delays at the brand’s first retail store, located in the Sydney CBD.
Well, the first firm details for the brand’s Australian product has been announced. Pricing for the familiar G80 is up first. This vehicle straddles the size class between the BMW 5 Series and short-wheelbase versions of the 7 Series.
Launching in June, Australian prices for the Genesis G80 will kick off from $68,900 (driveaway pricing not yet available) with a two-strong model range all sharing the same 3.8-litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine.
The bent-six is good for 232kW/397Nm, sent to the rear wheels only through an eight-speed torque converter automatic built in house at Hyundai. Overseas, the G80 is available with a turbo V6, an atmo V8 and with all wheel drive, but those options will not come to Australia at launch.
When originally launched as the Hyundai Genesis, this vehicle was priced from $60,000. The attractively low price of entry saw most of the few hundred that came to Australia employed as hire or livery vehicles in the chauffeured market.
While there’s no doubt the G80 will continue to hold value in this professional segment, this time there is a more concerted push into the private market, largely thanks to the availability of the far-sportier looking optional Sport Design appearance package.
Specification on the entry-level G80 3.8 is good, with Genesis throwing in new-for-Australia adaptive dampers, 18-inch wheels, full LED exterior and interior lighting, a 9.2-inch touchscreen with navigation and wireless charging, a 17-speaker Lexicon stereo, heated 12-way powered front seats with memory, and real aluminium interior trim.
There’s also a standard safety suite range wide that includes AEB with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver fatigue detection, and, a 360 degree camera.
From the base grade, it’s a $4,000 step up to the 3.8 Sport Design which retains the feature list from the standard car but adds far more assertive styling visible in the photographs on this post.
Namely, the Sport Design pack switches the wheels to a grey satin colour measuring 19 inches; there’s a mesh grille, dark chrome trimming around the exterior, larger exhaust tips and stainless steel pedal caps.
The higher-tier grade, which retains the 3.8 Ultimate moniker familiar to original Genesis buyers, costs $20,000 more than the standard 3.8.
That’s a substantial step up, but there are significant feature upgrades.
The $88,900 Ultimate steps up to 19-inch wheels, Nappa leather and suede surfacing inside, and an additional four ways of power adjustment for the driver – plus four-way adjustment in the rear seat. The front seats and rear outboard seats also gain heating and ventilation, and the steering wheel is warmed, too. A dual panel sunroof lets plenty of light in while there’s also a soft-close function for the doors and boot and a head-up display.
For a further $4,000, the Ultimate can be had with the Sport Design treatment bringing the maxed-out list price to $92,900.
We’ll be driving the Genesis G80 when it launches in Australia, and we’ll have a comprehensive video review for your enjoyment at that time.