Mountain Wheels: a chic and fast experience in the slightly exotic Genesis GV80
Vehicles and vehicle design, for the most part, appear to follow a linear path. But sometimes you get something very, very different that makes cars interesting again.
Every time I stepped into the Genesis GV80, Hyundai’s luxury brand’s mid-size crossover SUV, I swore I heard the car play a tune that sounded like “The Fez” by 1970s rockers Steely Dan.
And yes, that might have helped set the tone for the somewhat notorious and so far seemingly invisible automobile in Colorado. In a Savile Silver paint job, it looked oddly like a combination of a DeLorean, Grand Cherokee, and Porsche Cayenne, with the most mind-boggling exterior lighting system I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the remote control system that moves the entire Genesis in and out of a parking spot.
I haven’t even managed to look inside a Genesis automobile since its debut in 2017, so the week I spent with a slightly hardened example of the Tiger Woods SUV model had its almost rollover accident. mortal was indeed a somewhat curious affair.
I first boarded the GV80 and, in addition to its striking exterior and 20 inch wheels, I was overwhelmed by the magical difference between the vehicle’s layout and control suite. Just as I remember Lincoln’s interiors were also absolutely foreign in their futuristic pastiche, the screens and surfaces – and even an inexplicable round click button for the transmission – are all very confusing at first glance.
I hit a few buttons and while trying to play around with the cappuccino-colored navigation maps, instead I got a setting that plays the sounds of kids laughing and frolicking loudly in the crunchy snow. Again and again.
So there is the other world. Then there is the physical reality of the GV80, which is that it is truly a considerably big three-row luxury SUV with a 375 horsepower 3.5-liter turbo V6 and a torque of 391 lb-ft. I was literally going 87 miles an hour about three seconds after getting in the vehicle, surprised by its very quick arrival.
But unlike Woods, I didn’t want to test seemingly very efficient airbags, so I slowed down a lot. And I began to examine the various virtues among the curiosities and how Hyundai’s already fairly avant-garde modern design was taken a few notches up in the larger Genesis project.
In a way, it’s a bit like an Acura MDX styling makeover from a Hyundai Palisade. The GV80 is 195 inches long, 78 inches wide, and weighs approximately 4,707 pounds. There is also a 2.5-liter version that puts out 300 horsepower, but my Advanced-Plus model (priced at $ 66,475) got the full power.
Some hidden technologies include digital road noise cancellation, intelligent cruise control with artificial intelligence (yes) and 10 standard airbags, one of which is mounted centrally between the driver and passenger.
My very, very silver GV80 took on a chrome look, with stenciled lamp slots and a massive ultra-luxury European-style grille. It also has a very old Porsche inspired rear.
Inside, denying its perceived duty, the front passenger seat has a full limo mode switch, which almost squeezes it into the dashboard, giving your ultra-VIP customer plenty of room to spare. legroom. The interior is notable for its lack of drama, although it is done in a dramatic fashion. There’s a flat, completely featureless dashboard, a single long line of air vents, and a 14.5-inch-wide infotainment screen.
Until you notice the hard knobs above the digitized AC controls, your attempts to control this very vivid, data-rich screen are consumed by an input wheel that I couldn’t quite figure out. The round, crystallized shifter also needs your full attention to function properly.
When it did, it contained what I think was one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard, a 21-speaker Lexicon setup. There are also maybe 1,000 yards of light brown leather throughout the cabin.
Andy Stonehouse’s “Mountain Wheels” column appears in the Summit Daily News on Saturdays. Stonehouse has worked as an editor and writer in Colorado since 1998, focusing on auto coverage since 2004. He lives in Golden. Contact him at [email protected].