Since its redesign a few years ago, the G80 has been available with V6 or V8 power in rear- or all-wheel drive. But for the 2018 model year, Genesis introduces the new G80 Sport; a bolder take with more distinctive styling and a new engine that first appeared in the flagship G90 sedan, the very spirited 3.3T.
Situated between the 311 horsepower V6 and the range-topping 420 horsepower V8 is this 365 horsepower G80 3.3T Sport. Its twin-turbo V6 produces 376 pound-feet of torque; almost as much as the 5.0 but at a considerably lower RPM delivering effortless acceleration. How does 0-to-60mph in a scant 5.0 seconds sound? Pretty sweet, actually, particularly from inside the satisfyingly comfortable cabin where it produces an understated burble. It possesses none of the typical negatives of a turbo either, with linear responses and luxury-appropriate smooth, quiet operation. To achieve maximum performance, the G80 Sport desires premium unleaded but regular is permitted, returning 20mpg in combined driving and up to 25mpg on the highway. Paired with an 8-speed auto with experience-enhancing paddle shifters, the powertrain is slick and excitingly energetic. It comes with 3 drive modes; Eco, Normal and Sport. Each one reconfigures throttle responsiveness, transmission mapping, stability control, suspension and steering. And because continuous damping control is exclusive to this Sport trim, the G80 has a beautiful ride quality with a suspension that can be stiffened for all out performance.
This is the rear-wheel drive G80 Sport but can you can opt for all-wheel drive for an additional $2,500.
Let me save you the legwork, you will not find another full size sedan as good as this for $56,000. The G80 Sport is an incredible bargain considering its striking design, wide ranging driving dynamics and luxurious cabin. There’s nothing that feels as though they’ve cut corners here. There are no warts. We already know that Hyundai’s electronics are excellent, everyone is swathed in comfort and there’s enough get up and go here to impress even the most persnickety driver. Plus, at this early stage you’re also getting exclusivity. And I like that.
The copper-accent color both inside and out is a brilliant move by Genesis, bestowing a unique, athletic, high-end appearance to a car already wrapped in mystery. Full LED lighting with dynamic bending headlights, 19” wheels with staggered width tires stopped by larger brakes, and quad exhaust outlets further the intrigue. Inside, there are sport seats with additional torso and thigh bolstering, a thick sport-design steering wheel, carbon fiber trim, a suede headliner, sport pedals and a copper Genesis clock. The entire Sport persona really works for me, providing a large luxury car experience with a bit of a dark side that’s both aesthetic and functional.
And the feature level is both sky-high and completely standard; a colorful, high-res head up display with traffic sign information, easy to use media with HD radio, navigation, CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging, a wonderfully rich sounding 17-speaker Lexicon surround sound system with all the bells and whistles, heated and cooled seats, heated rear seats with sunshades, a panoramic sunroof and hands-free trunk opening. All the safety stuff is here too, like a multi-view camera, auto high beams, smart cruise control with stop/start…you name it. If you want to question the lack of a rear USB port and heated steering wheel you can, but otherwise Genesis is throwing in everything but the kitchen sink for $56,225. It is a large car too and not a midsize like the 5 Series, E-Class, A6 and GS so it’s luxuriously spacious.
Ownership includes the Genesis Experience with 3 years or 36k miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance, service valet and more.
The 2018 G80 Sport balances luxury, athleticism, size and price like none other.