While North Korea is trying to develop technology that was perfected in the 50’s, South Korea is busy building some of the best cars in the world. If you think we neglected to include the manufacturer in our headline, get ready for a surprise. Genesis has evolved from a model produced by Hyundai into a brand of its own. As a new luxury brand, Genesis Motors is killing two birds with one stone. The first is to capitalize on the unprecedented success of the Genesis name; and the second is to make you forget about the last time they did this. Hyundai had hoped to market the Equus sedan as its own make, but 2016 will be the last year for that name. Both cars will enter 2017 as G80 and G90 respectively, the first two models from Genesis Motors.
We are well acquainted with the build quality and power, as they send us a new car for review several times a year. One of our coworkers has become addicted. Starting with the 4.6 V8 and then trading it for the 5.0 liter R-spec model. So he was happy to jump in the 2017 G80 Ultimate for a lap of St Petersburg. The changes from Hyundai Genesis to Genesis G80 are merely cosmetic, with a new grille and headlights being the most obvious. We spent a week studying Genesis, which means 6 days of driving and on the 7th day we rested. Compared to the 2015 model I drove two years ago, changes have mostly been reserved to the electronics and safety systems. Of course the interior trim is of a higher caliber, but who would expect to find an excellent lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking at this price point?
Under the hood is the familiar “Tau” V8 which is rated at 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Shift firmness in the 8 speed automatic has been relaxed in the move up market, but the down shifts are no less precise. It has gained Smart Cruise control and improved fit/finish for a price increase of $15. Yes the 2015 Genesis was $55,700, and the 2017 Genesis G80 Ultimate is $55,715. Capable of 23 mpg on the highway, you will be hard pressed to find a V8 powered luxury sedan at a comparable price. We anticipate getting our hands on the larger Genesis G90, so stay with us for more news & reviews.