Genesis GV80 Concept First Look | Edmunds

Genesis GV80 First Look

Dressed to Impress


Now that Genesis, Hyundai's luxury brand, has established itself with the G80 and G90 sedans, it's looking to expand its lineup with SUVs. The GV80 Concept gives a peek at what one of those SUVs might look like and what may power it when a production version is ready two years from now.

Beyond showing the intention of building an SUV, the concept's focus falls on its design, which Genesis calls "athletic elegance." Whatever the name, the GV80's proportions compare well to the German, British and Swedish competition the production version will face. We doubt much of the general shape will change, but expect concept details such as the tiny side-view mirrors, perforated trim pieces and 23-inch diameter wheels to be replaced — though we aren't too sad about losing the super-dubs. We do hope the bisected head- and taillights remain because they help give the GV80 a unique identity.

The design language continues into an unapologetically four-seat interior, with a large transmission tunnel-like bulge separating driver and passenger side seats. Although we couldn't get inside, the quilted leather adoring the seats and door panels looked appropriately luxurious, as did the curved, 22-inch-wide OLED display dominating the dash. The screen is divided into separate zones for the driver and passenger and operated by a multifunction controller that supports handwriting recognition. Ahead are four metal strip inlays that act as a design element and capacitive switches for commonly used functions.

Genesis GV80 Concept

The design fits the bill, but what powers it? Genesis says the GV80 Concept has a plug-in hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, and that's the first we've heard of this combination. In application, it could use electricity stored in the battery for primary propulsion and rely on hydrogen as a range extender, converting the gas into electricity to provide power once the battery is low or drained. Technical details were nonexistent, and Genesis representatives say the company is continuing to evaluate the feasibility of this powertrain and others.

By design alone, the GV80 Concept shows the Genesis' intentions as a premium brand. Engine details may remain murky, but we're excited to see the production version take shape two years from now.

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