First impressions count, and a new kid in the Autoblock Genesis makes an impression with their GV80 sport utility vehicle that I took test drives on UK roads this week.
Take a cursory look and you might even mistake it for a Bentley Bentayga SUV, which costs up to three times as much.
Coincidentally, I’m sure, the chief designer at Genesis is the Belgian Luc Donckerwolke, who was previously Design Director at Bentley. Genesis is the luxury vehicle division of the South Korean Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai and Kia brands, which was founded five years ago.
Order books will officially open from July 1st, with first deliveries later this month. Available in five- and seven-seat configurations, the GV80 range starts at £ 56,715 for the Premium Line.
Double-Take: The new Genesis GV80 could be mistaken for a Bentley Bentayga
I drove a seven-seater version of the Luxury Line priced at £ 62,315, but it was loaded with an additional £ 15,000 kit including innovation packs and nappa leather seats that raised it to a cool £ 77,485. Still, that’s about half the price of a Bentley Bentayga (from around £ 150,000).
Visually, you can’t miss the GV80’s bold crest grill, winged emblem, solid stance, and double-lined LED quad lights.
The interior is also impressive. Sophisticated with a large infotainment touchscreen in the dashboard, 12-inch head-up display, comfortable seats and a premium feeling.
On 22-inch wheels (20 inches as standard), the willing 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder diesel engine with 278 hp and an eight-speed automatic transmission ensures spirited acceleration, especially in sport mode.
It reaches rest to 100 km / h in 7.5 seconds up to a top speed of 143 km / h. Also on offer is a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine with 304 hp.
For long journeys, it’s a quiet cruiser in comfort mode, and you can choose Eco if you want to save fuel.
I even drove a bit of unplanned and improvised grass and gravel off-road in off-road mode – courtesy of a navigation button – and the four-wheel drive managed just fine.
You can navigate through the driving modes using a circular dial. Directly above there is another to find your way around the infotainment system.
It comes in handy with flexible folding seats and buttons that you can use to do this from the rear trunk when loading.
The technical functions include an intelligent remote parking assistant (which allows you to control the car from narrow areas while you are standing and watching), an augmented reality navigation system, a 3D instrument cluster and a head-up display, an intelligent dead man’s car. Angle monitor that shows a video feed on the dash of what’s behind it and a system to spot potholes and speed limits in front of you and optimize the suspension in advance to deal with it.
Both the GV80 and G80 sedans (on the road from £ 37,460) – which I have also driven and which share many of the same attributes aside from the custom SUV elements – are specifically tuned in for tens of thousands of miles on UK and continental roads Covered 15 countries on some of the toughest and most demanding roads as well as the Nürburgring.
Further models – including electric ones – will follow shortly.
The GV80 is also the car that golfer Tiger Woods recently had a spectacular and highly acclaimed prang in the US – so good a job it has a top five-star safety rating.
With its first “studio” showroom in the Westfield Shopping Center in West London, the order books will officially open from July 1st, with first deliveries later this month.
Genesis promises a “no pressure, no stress” sales approach, a predominantly female workforce of “personal assistants” with experience in the travel and luxury goods industries, a “We Come to You” sales policy, and a 5 year care plan with home or office delivery and Pick-up, transparent pricing, no haggling or discounting that ‘makes a visit to the dealer superfluous’.
Engines for the G80 sedan in Great Britain are the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder single turbo gasoline engine with 304 hp and an economical 2.2-liter 4-cylinder diesel.
A 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine with 375 hp – offered in some markets – is not planned for either model for the UK market.
In addition, the G70 Shooting-Brake comes onto the market, which was specially developed for Europe and is expected later this year.
Three electric cars will also arrive in the first year. The first will be an electric version of the G80, which premiered at Auto Shanghai and is estimated to be priced at around £ 60,000.
As part of the product rollout, two more battery electric cars – one of them on a dedicated electric platform – will be launched in Europe within the first year.
Imitation ?: The real Bentley Bentayga is in a league beyond the new Genesis GV80 in terms of luxurious quality and performance
So is this a Korean copycat ‘Bootleg Bentley’?
To be fair, the real Bentley Bentayga is a league beyond the new Genesis GV80 in terms of luxurious quality and performance.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Bentley boys at Crewe should be flattered by the Genesis GV80’s impressive tribute to their skill.
75% of motorists are affected by “rusty” driving skills
Three quarters of drivers are nervous about other people’s “rusty” driving ability after many stopped driving during the lockdown, according to a survey by Comparethemarket.com.
More than a third (36 percent) are even nervous about their own abilities after a long absence from the wheel.
Driven to distraction: More than a third of drivers are nervous about their own abilities after a long absence from the wheel
Younger drivers are most concerned about the return to driving. More than eight out of ten (84 percent) of those under 25 are worried about other drivers and more than half (55 percent) are nervous about their own ability to drive.
Londoner Grace Gausden, who hadn’t driven a car for five years since passing her exam, took a two-hour refresher course from NFU Mutual with specialists from Drive Doctors.
RED, AA and BSM also offer courses.
Encouraging news for women in the automotive industry
The automotive industry needs more women in leadership positions, but here is some encouraging news: Alison Jones, UK Manager and Global Senior Vice President of the new mega-corporation Stellantis, has just been named Outstanding UK Leader at the annual Autocar Awards.
“Critical Leadership”: Alison Jones is the UK manager and Global Senior Vice President of the new mega-corporation Stellantis
She took over the position in March, overseeing the operations of brands such as DS, Peugeot, Citroen, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Jeep.
The magazine praised her “decisive leadership … through the challenges of Brexit, Covid and the merger with FCA to create Stellantis”.
SAVE MONEY WHEN DRIVING A CAR
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