Over-Land of Confusion
This Is Our Best Look Yet at One of the Coolest New SUVs of 2020
2020 is poised to be a year packed with fresh, exciting automotive debuts, both in the form of cars and trucks we’ll be seeing for the first time and ones we’ve already met but have yet to drive (hey, new Defender). Look to the former category, however, and you’ll find among all those electric cars and speed machines an SUV you might not expect: the GV80, Genesis’s first high-riding two-box. And while it’s due to make its formal debut later this month, Genesis is giving us a very revealing sneak peek at it now.
Indeed, as the pictures here show, this “sneak peek” almost negates the need for a formal debut — at least when it comes to showing off the car’s appearance. The general look is remarkably similar to the GV80 SUV concept of 2017, albeit slightly cleaned up for production; the headlights are a bit bigger and the grille tweaked to reflect the brand’s latest familial face, but for the most part, it’s damn close to the golden SUV that first showed up at the New York Auto Show almost three years ago.
Inside, the GV80 seems to boast a freshened design language than the luxury brand’s current models, with what appears to be an elevated center console and long, unbroken lines of trim stretching across the dash. A widescreen infotainment display sits mounted high in the center like a TV in a living room, while the steering wheel appears to boast just two spokes, á la the Mercedes-Benz S-Class of a few years ago.
While the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade have racked up acclaim for Genesis’s parent company, the GV80 won’t be based on those crossovers’ bones. Instead, the GV80 is being built on a modified version of the same rear-wheel-drive-based platform found in the G80, G90 and the related Kia K900. (Like those cars, however, it’ll offer the choice of all-wheel-drive, too.) Considering Genesis’s uniformity of powertrains, you can likely expect the GV80 to come packing the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 found in all three of the carmaker’s sedans, along with the ubiquitous eight-speed automatic.
The new GV80 goes on sale in South Korea later this month, according to Genesis, with global sales rolling out across 2020. Given the global hunger for SUVs and crossovers and the lagging interest in the sedan category that’s been the brand’s stock in trade so far, it likely can’t come soon enough for the company.