Genesis drops second-generation G80 for 2021 sporting new looks, turbo powertrains, and lighter structure

Bursting with style and tech

South Korean upscale car manufacturer Genesis this week unveiled its all-new G80 mid-size sedan, sporting dramatic new styling over a lightweight structure and featuring new and reimagined luxury and high-tech features.

The 2021 Genesis G80 is the second generation of the mid-range model since the brand broke away from its Hyundai parent company, starting with the 2017 model year. The G80 began as the Hyundai Genesis sedan in 2010, which was redesigned in 2015. Here’s how much the 2018 G80 was selling for.

Redesigned G80 enters second-generation with new proportions and lighter stance

genesis g80 2021 front view
The 2021 G80 proportions change a little for the 2nd-generation redesign, sitting slightly longer, lower, while wheelbase remains unchanged. Photo: Genesis

The G80’s new look is dominated by LED exterior lighting and a sweeping character line that runs the length of the car, stretching the body visually and creating a family tie to the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV revealed earlier this year.

The new G80 rides on the same 3,010-mm/118.5-inch wheelbase as before, and body length increases by just 4 mm, or less than 0.2 inches. However, the car is 35 mm/1.4 inches wider, and its roofline is 15 mm/0.6 inches lower.

Genesis says 19 per cent of the G80’s structure is made of lightweight aluminum, which allowed the brand’s engineers to cut 125 kg (275 pounds) from the sedan’s curb weight. 

Genesis ditches V8 for smaller turbo good for 375 horsepower

genesis g80 2021 engines
Gone is the V8 in the 2021 G80, replaced by a pair of turbos. Genesis says a diesel is coming for some overseas markets. Photo: Genesis

Also new are the 2021 G80’s powertrains: the starting point is a gasoline 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder (300 hp/311 lb-ft of torque) and the upgrade is a 3.5L turbo gas V6 making 375 hp/391 lb-ft. Genesis says there will also be a diesel available in some overseas markets.

Also read: 2019 Genesis G70 Review

We expect the two gas engines to be available in North America to replace the outgoing car’s 3.8L and turbo 3.3L V6s, and a 5.0L V8. Genesis doesn’t mention details of the G80’s transmission and drive system, but the old G80 was standard with AWD and an eight-speed transmission.

2021 G80 interior update includes major tech improvements

genesis g80 2021 interior
Inside the new G80, the front passenger seat will self-adjust the backrest to a more upright position to help protect the occupant in a forward collision or during evasive braking and steering maneuvers. Photo: Genesis

The G80 also benefits from some of parent company Hyundai’s latest safety and high-tech features. Key among these are a second-generation highway driving assist system that now helps the driver make lane changes and adjusts the car’s speed and position when another vehicle merges in front.

Related to those functions is a new cruise control setup that uses machine learning to adapt to the human driver’s tendencies. This way, the car learns to work the brakes and accelerator in the same manner as its human to make the smart cruise system’s operation feel more natural.

Front-seat passengers benefit from Genesis’s innovations too: the front passenger seat will self-adjust the backrest to a more upright position to help protect the occupant in a forward collision or during evasive braking and steering maneuvers.

Also new is a remote smart parking function that lets the driver move the car remotely using the key fob. And Genesis CarPay (not to be confused with Apple CarPlay) allows payment for gasoline through the car’s infotainment screen, but this feature is so far only available in the brand’s South Korean home market.

genesis g80 2021 rear view
Genesis says the new G80 will be arrive at North American dealers in the second half of 2020, with pricing and detailed specifications to be revealed closer to that time. Photo: Genesis

Other features we expect to be standard in the G80 include a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display, and a 14.5-inch infotainment screen mounted atop the dash. Other new touches include a rotary gearshift control and fingertip handwriting inputs for the infotainment system.

When will the new 2021 G80 be available?

Genesis says the new G80 will be arrive at North American dealers in the second half of 2020, with pricing and detailed specifications to be revealed closer to that time.

Chris Chasehttps://chrischasescars.com/
Chris has been writing professionally about cars since 2004, in print and online. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two feline tyrants. In rare quiet moments, he can be found travelling or playing one of his way-too-many guitars. Chris is also a journalist member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
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