Hyundai has spent 10 years preparing for the European launch of Genesis, which was first introduced as a stand-alone premium brand in South Korea in 2015, then in North America and China.
Even so, it has restricted Genesis’ European exposure to just three markets initially: Germany, the UK and Switzerland.
“Europe is one of the most challenging premium markets to enter,” said Andrew Pilkington, managing director of Genesis in the UK.
The G80 large sedan is one of two vehicles, along with the GV80 large SUV, that Genesis has chosen to launch first to challenge the incumbent German premium trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The smaller G70 sedan and station wagon and GV70 SUV will follow later this year.
A full-electric version of the G80 will be launched by May 2022, but for now the only engine choices are a 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline option. Both come with an in-house developed eight-speed automatic transmission. Neither model offers hybrid assistance, and Genesis has said it will not offer any hybrid models in the future, preferring to jump straight to full electric.