Emma Jayne Williams

Hyundai’s Genesis luxury line adds G80 Sport trim with all-wheel drive

The 2017 Genesis G80 is one of two vehicles that Hyundai is now selling under its new Genesis luxury brand. The G80 previously was known as the Hyundai Genesis sedan.
The 2017 Genesis G80 is one of two vehicles that Hyundai is now selling under its new Genesis luxury brand. The G80 previously was known as the Hyundai Genesis sedan.

Genesis, Hyundai’s new luxury line, adds a G80 Sport trim for 2018, with a powerful new 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turboV-6 engine, unique sport-performance upgrades and distinctive exterior trim and styling.

The G80 line includes four other trims, priced from $41,750 to $59,500, with three 3.8-liter V-6 engines, one 5.5-liter V-8 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

G80 Sport brings unique 19-inch dark-alloy Sport wheels (all-season tires), Sport CDC suspension, a redesigned hexagonal grille, new front fascia and a Sport tuned automatic transmission.

The Sport suspension has been retuned with stiffer springs and continuous damping control, with two settings, one for comfort and one for sportier handling.

Five exterior colors are offered, including Casablanca White, Himalayan Gray, Caspian Black and exclusive Polar Ice and Sevilla Red. Sport offers black or gray leather seating.

My G80 Sport was Caspian Black with black interior, striking copper styling elements inside and out (grille surround – sides and bottom – headlight bezels with Genesis signature), dark chrome window surrounds, mirrors, headlight housings, door handle trim, and smoked taillight covers, setting the Sport apart from the rest of the lineup.

The sharper front fascia framing the bold, new cross-hatch design dark chrome grille, new vertical air-curtain slits (replaced the LED fog lights) and special creased sport rocker moldings gave my G80 an aggressive appearance.

A restyled rear fascia highlighted the Sport chrome quad exhaust tips with black honeycomb surrounds flanking the decorative rear diffuser. The gorgeous dark alloy Sport wheels had 10 chiseled “Y” shaped spokes, highlighting the aggressive appearance.

Approach lights on the bottom of the outside mirrors automatically projected the Genesis logo on the ground as I approached with the key. The hands-free Smart Power trunk lid also reacted to the proximity of the key, rising automatically after I stood near for several seconds – must be within three feet.

Full LED headlights with dynamic bending light and high-beam assist lit every corner and curve with brighter, more efficient light, which is easier on the eyes of fellow drivers, while LED daytime running lights along the bottom, outer edge, and upper half of the headlight housings improved daytime safety by making my G80 Sport beautifully more conspicuous.

Inside, the sporty details continued with a new analog clock in copper; alloy sport pedals; a thick, heated sport-designed steering wheel with copper-colored stitching; heavily bolstered sport seats with copper-colored stitching; copper-colored diagonal stitching on the door panels; a black micro-fiber suede headliner; and carbon fiber trim on the door panels and across the dash.

Amenities included a power driver’s seat extension and bolsters; heated and cooled front seats; heated rear seats; a power rear sunshade and manual rear side sunshades; LED reading lights front and rear; LED indoor handle lights and glove compartment lights; illuminated ignition surround and door sill plates; and a wireless charging pad, located in the center console.

Controls for the G80 Sport’s myriad driver-assist features, media-related functions, and other options were combined into a group including a large rotary knob flanked by several buttons conveniently located on the center console behind the shifter.

The joystick function of the knob allowed scrolling and navigating through every menu on the 9.2-inch screen, which also allowed touch control if preferred.

Side buttons gave quick access to the map/voice, navigation, phone, main menu, home, park sensor, multi-view camera, back/return, and seat heat/cool.

Buttons to the left of the steering wheel allowed quick access to assist systems, as well as shortcut buttons for almost every function on the center console – easy to see and intuitive to use.

Multi-view camera allows the driver to see the front, rear, and left and right sides at will, using four cameras discreetly installed within the vehicle.

The category’s first high-definition touch screen with split screen, along with Google POI search, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay allowed for checking navigation information as well as other A/V data at the same time.

A Lexicon surround-sound audio system with 17 high-performance speakers, quantum logic and Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology, AM/FM/XM radio/CD and MP3 provided the background for a weekly run to the pet store and other mundane errands.

Driver-assistance and safety features came in the form of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, smart cruise control with stop/start, front and rear parking sensors, a full-color heads-up display, and a haptic-feedback steering wheel.

Structural safety features included an energy-absorbing steering column, front and rear crumple zones, 5 mph bumpers, hood-buckling creases and safety stops, and body-side reinforcements.

Genesis Connected Services is standard on all Genesis vehicles for seamless connectivity with technology such as Destination Search powered by Google, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery.

SOS Emergency & Automatic Collision Notification provide peace of mind, and Amazon Alexa allows Remote Start with Climate Control, and Remote Door Lock/Unlock through Connected Services and an Alexa-enabled device.

Connected Services can be accessed from the web, via a smartphone app, or buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.

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