The 2022 Genesis G80 Sport Is Your New Performance Sedan – Here's How It Feels From Behind the Wheel

The 2022 Genesis G80 Sport Is Your New Performance Sedan – Here's How It Feels From Behind the Wheel

Does the G80 finally join the sport sedan club?

  • All V6-powered versions of the 2022 Genesis G80 are now called Sport.
  • Upgrades include electronic LSD and launch control.
  • We get behind the wheel to see if the G80 earns the Sport badge.

The 2022 Genesis G80 sedan isn't the most important vehicle in the automaker's lineup — kudos would likely go to its SUV offerings, consisting of the GV70 compact and GV80 midsize crossovers. The G80 is, however, a critical component in telling the story of Genesis, a relative newcomer in the luxury space. After all, it was the G80's forebear, the Hyundai Genesis, that proved there was a market for high-end Korean automobiles in the first place. Even though sales weren't exactly lighting the world on fire, the G80 received a full redesign last year, and 2022 sees a reshuffling of the trim structure. Here's what the Genesis G80 lineup looks like for 2022, and how the revisions make the car come alive from behind the wheel.

What's different about the 2022 Genesis G80?

If you're opting for a G80 with the standard engine, not much. The turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes the same 300 horsepower as last year, and you can still choose from the base model, or opt for the Advanced or Prestige package.

The differences really come to light once you decide on the much more potent turbocharged V6 with 375 hp. You see, for 2022, all G80s with this 3.5-liter six-cylinder bear the Sport moniker, and the upgrades are far more extensive than a new badge. The front bumper gains a pair of stylish fins to break up the lower airdam design, and the rear is slightly restyled, too. The bright exterior chrome work is changed to dark chrome for a stealthier appearance. Inside, a traditional three-spoke steering wheel replaces the sad clown frown wheel on the four-cylinder G80. The waterfall-like stitching of the current leather upholstery is replaced with a chevron pattern, and the wood veneers are jettisoned in favor of aluminum (Sport) or carbon-fiber (Sport Prestige) trim.

But the G80 Sport isn't just an appearance package — it adds numerous performance enhancements not present on last year's G80 3.5T. Among these are launch control and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. Opt for the range-topping Sport Prestige package, and you'll add rear-wheel steering and a Sport+ driving mode, which includes looser reins on the sedan's stability control system. Also on the docket is unique tuning for the adaptive suspension, which utilizes a road-scanning camera that readies the dampers for upcoming ruts and bumps. The Sport Prestige is available with a modestly priced package that adds summer tires and active noise reduction.

How does the Genesis G80 Sport drive?

We drove a G80 Sport with the Prestige and summer tire packages, which, combined, allow this four-door to do its best impression of a full-fledged sport sedan. With 391 lb-ft of torque on tap, the V6 has the thrust to propel you to extralegal speeds in just a few seconds. The adaptive suspension provides a stable, smooth ride in its default Comfort mode, and body roll in tight turns is well managed, even in this least aggressive driving mode. Selecting the Sport or Sport+ driving mode makes the vehicle feel even more planted, as well as firms up steering wheel effort.

These modes also hang onto gears a bit longer, so the transmission won't automatically upshift at low rpm. However, the shift logic does sometimes downshift unnecessarily under light loads. In Sport+ and at light throttle, for instance, the transmission might downshift for seemingly no reason, leaving you with an engine churning at 5,000 rpm and your foot barely on the accelerator. It's a strange feeling — many competitors will take a user's throttle position into account when making these decisions and feel more natural.

We knocked the V6-powered G80 last year for a few comfort-related issues, such as elevated road noise and a mildly brittle ride. Oddly, the Sport Prestige's new suspension tuning, which would theoretically make for an even stiffer ride, is perfectly reasonable on the road. The new active noise cancellation feature works as advertised; the G80 is impressively quiet at low speeds, and there's not much road noise on the highway.

Though performance is the Sport's true raison d'être, the interior upgrades might also seal the deal. The standard G80's steering wheel looks like a cross between the two-spoke design of the GV80 and those in some newer Hyundais. The Sport's three-spoke wheel is more conventional, svelte and, to our eyes, more handsome. The crosshatched carbon-fiber trim is also pretty neat, and the bookmarked chevron stitching on the seat centers is quite fetching. Finally, the blue and brown leather dyes from last year's model are not available on the Sport. Instead, buyers have a choice between the existing black or beige colors, or a new treatment that Genesis calls Sevilla Red. If you're looking to carry the sport theme to the nth degree, we recommend this new Red Vines-like color.

Edmunds says

V6-powered versions of the 2022 Genesis G80 are now called G80 Sport. A more aggressive exterior and unique cabin design help the G80 Sport look the part, while under-the-hood improvements ensure it has the performance to earn the name.

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