Spied: Genesis GV80 SUV

The first SUV mules from Genesis are undergoing winter testing.

This is our first glimpse at the production version of a new midsize luxury SUV from Hyundai luxury subsidiary Genesis. Based on the concept shown in New York in 2017, the production GV80 will likely be the first high-riding model the company will deliver to market.

Genesis has been lambasted by critics for being way behind the curve in terms of delivering crossovers and SUVs. Exacerbating the situation is the nightmare that is the Genesis dealer franchise network, which has been undergoing a complete restructuring at exactly the wrong time. The result? Genesis brand sales to date have been positively abysmal.

While Genesis' dealer and product issues are independent of each other, it's going to be critical that the former are resolved by the time the new GV80 launches. Genesis is taking the segment seriously, hoping to carve out a slice of the market in a similar fashion to the approach Lexus took with the original RX.

To that end, expect the GV80 to launch with a naturally aspirated V6 and available (if not standard) all-wheel drive. Turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines could come later, based on tech shared with the existing G70 and upcoming GV70 compact CUV. Diesel power will likely be available in other world markets (namely Korea, as European diesel tolerance is rapidly fading).

2019 is going to be a big year for Genesis product announcements, so we expect this to be just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned.

Photos by Brian Williams.

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