Genesis Motors is slowly but steadily beginning to reap the rewards of a plan it has put into motion after spinning off from their parent brand, Hyundai. A former luxury model at the high end of the Hyundai lineup is now a brand of its own whose portfolio is growing by the day. By 2020, the luxury South Korean car maker is expected to field no fewer than six distinctive models including two all-new crossover SUVs. They’re also expected to completely overhaul their initial large sedan offerings and introduce another sporty coupe based on their platform. Before we take a look at what the 2020 Genesis lineup will have to offer, let us first focus on the company’s sales figures and their projections in the U.S.
The Korean automaker’s first full model year in the U.S. saw them marketing 20,612 of their full-size sedans. Most of that figure goes on the smaller G80 with the proportion going 4:1 in its favor against the G90. With the new G70 compact yet to show its face (sales-wise), the company’s 2018 figures have unexpectedly deteriorated compared to 2017. Concluding with November, 2018, Genesis’ U.S. sales amount to only 9,698 cars which is a staggering 48 percent downturn compared to the same eleven-month period in 2017 when they had sold 18,664 vehicles. This surprising loss of market share is expected to be mitigated by the introduction of the above mentioned new models in 2019 and 2020. The compact G70 sedan will begin working its magic straightaway as it’s expected to become the brand’s best-selling model in 2019. The remainder of forthcoming models, on the other hand, will be doing their bit in 2020 and 2021.
But why is Genesis having such a tough time getting a break in the U.S.? Especially considering the fact they offer more bang for the buck compared to any other luxury automaker out there, and provide a more than generous warranty? There are actually two reasons, and they’re intertwined. First, the Genesis lineup is, as established already, rather shallow at the moment. What’s more, the South Koreans have opened up a select few Genesis dealerships instead of selling the luxury cars directly through their vast Hyundai network. While this might be a necessary strategy for a luxury brand to differentiate itself and ultimately succeed, the Koreans have obviously implemented it prematurely. Waiting for the brand to field a wider selection of available models before moving it out of Hyundai dealerships would have probably been a better option. Until they sort things out, let’s take a look at what to pay attention to when it comes to Genesis in 2020.
What’s Hot in the New 2020 Genesis Lineup
04. 2020 G90
The full-size G90, previously known as the Hyundai Genesis, is the young division’s very first car scheduled to receive an extensive overhaul for MY 2020. The next-gen model has already been unveiled in Hyundai’s domestic South Korean market, but won’t arrive stateside till sometime in 2019. The all-new second-generation G90 flagship sedan sports a dramatically changed design which states the company’s intention to turn the recent struggles around in one fell swoop. Not only is the new G90 even more beautiful than its predecessor, but it also sports a completely overhauled infotainment system with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen display. Most of the interior remains intact, however, as the outgoing model’s high-quality materials carry over. Prices are expected to remain in place as well, as entry-level G90’s are expected to start from around $70,000.
There still aren’t any details about the next-gen G90’s powertrains, but that department, too, is expected to remain mostly unchanged. The current G90 engine lineup consists of a 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 and a powerful 5.0L naturally aspirated V8. The former generates 365 horses and 376 pound-feet of torque whereas the latter makes 420 ponies and 383 lb-ft. The 2020 Genesis G90 might see these figures slightly upgraded, but they’re more than sufficient the way they are. Every Genesis car comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission as the sole available choice, and that’s not about to change anytime soon. Finally, the new G90 will again offer a choice between a rear and $2,500 all-wheel drive upgrade across the entire range. Expect the new model to arrive during the Spring, 2019 at the earliest and Autumn of the same year at the latest.
03. 2020 GV80
The GV80 is the first of two upcoming Genesis SUVs poised on addressing the current lineup’s deficiencies. A concept car bearing the same name has already been presented at the 2017 New York auto show, but the actual production model will differ in many ways. Most significantly, it won’t be a fuel cell vehicle like the concept, but a conventional model with an internal combustion engine. The Genesis GV80 will be based either on the company’s sedan underpinnings, or an all-new platform designed with crossovers in mind. On the other hand, the extended Hyundai Santa Fe platform could do the trick as well. Very little is known at this point, but since the GV80 is expected to be larger than Santa Fe and larger of the two Genesis crossovers, it’ll almost certainly feature a third row of seats. It should also command a hefty price, but expect it to still be way more affordable than its premium competitors from Germany and Japan alike.
Unlike the fuel cell concept, the production Genesis GV80 will sport a lineup of conventional engines with a possible hybrid in the mix as well. The way things stand right now, a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 looks like the best bet as the initial GV80 powertrain. It’s good enough for 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of rotational force and should fit like a charm in that mid-size luxury SUV game. An additional battery pack and electric motor(s) would raise the output further up, but it’s improbable they’d be offered with a turbocharged engine. Instead, the Koreans might develop a comparable naturally aspirated mill, or use one from the Hyundai lineup. We’ll probably know more in early 2019 when more details about the production-ready GV80 are expected to emerge.
02. 2020 G70
The moment it arrived to the market in late 2018, the compact luxury sedan picked itself Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award. A future linchpin of the Genesis lineup, the G70 has managed to fuse the impeccable styling, superlative performance, and world-class comfort and refinement in its first attempt – something a lot of its competitors required years to perfect. Like any other Genesis model, the G70 offers great value for money which is especially important in the highly competitive segment it competes in. Pitted against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and many others, the G70 wouldn’t be able to succeed differently. Its low entry-level price (for its class) is probably one of the compact luxury sedan’s strongest points. The G70 starts from under $35,000 which might be on par with a number of its competitors, but the Korean luxury compact won’t devour as many green bills for optional equipment as less cost-effective German examples, for instance. Instead, you’ll get a heavily loaded model for way under $50,000.
The Genesis G70 initially starts with two turbocharged powertrain offerings. The base 2.0L turbo four is good enough for 253 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of twist while the optional 3.3L twin-turbo V6, as already established, makes 365 ponies and 376 lb-ft. The former might feel inadequate on the highway since the G70 is one of the heaviest vehicles in its class, but the latter comes with virtually no shortcomings. Both engines can be had in both rear and all-wheel drive configurations and comes with standard 8-speed automatic gearboxes. However, the Sport trim does offer an optional 6-speed stick if ordered with the smaller of the two engines. Some of the Genesis G70’s precious few shortcomings include a cramped rear seat and infotainment system taken from the non-luxury Hyundai models. Considering how Genesis buyers aren’t supposed to be badge-snobs, the latter issue shouldn’t pose a problem for them either.
01. 2020 G80
The smaller of the two full-size Genesis sedans is set to follow in its larger sibling’s footsteps. In other words, the 2020 Genesis G80 will also sport a completely new design and a correspondingly overhauled chassis. Most of the next-gen G80’s cues will be in tune with those of the redesigned G90 and the Essentia Coupe Concept as well, considering how the test mules seem to be hiding a pentagon-styled grille underneath the vinyl wrap. The redesigned G80 should share the remainder of the G90’s upgrades including a slightly changed interior, introduction of a new infotainment system and tech features, and some new trims and materials as well. The full-size luxury sedan should again start from under $45,000 but it’s still unclear what the Koreans have in their plans for the performance-oriented G80 Sport.
The forthcoming G80 should retain the current model’s powertrain lineup, much like the G90 will apparently do. The entry-level models will, thus, retain their 3.8L V6 mills capable of putting up as much as 311 ponies and 293 pound-feet of torque. The only other option – not counting the twin-turbo V6-powered G80 Sport – is a powerful 5.0L V8 mill that cranks up 420 horses and 383 lb-ft of torque using premium fuel. A hybrid version could also be in the cards sooner rather than later and might even supplant the high-displacement V8. An 8-speed automatic and both drivetrain configurations will continue to be offered across the range. Since the G90 has already been unveiled back home in South Korea, the redesigned G80 shouldn’t take too long to show its face too. We’ll probably get to know more sometime in early 2019.
What’s Not in the New 2020 Genesis Lineup
With the complete 2020 Genesis lineup being entirely new or completely overhauled, we simply can’t play any of the upcoming Genesis vehicles down here. Especially considering they offer arguably the best value for money package among all the luxury brands in the U.S. There you have it. If you’re in the market for a luxury car, you should seriously consider this upstart Korean brand. Lest you end trapped in a vicious cycle of maintenance costs the remainder of the luxury brands are known for. This rings especially true for their German competitors, so if you feel like getting out of the same cycle, why not spring for something more oriental this time around?