Genesis GV80 Coupe Concept Teases New Performance Strategy

Hyundai's Genesis luxury arm has unveiled its latest concept car, the GV80 Coupe, at the Genesis House in New York. Genesis calls it a "statement of intent for the future," and a taste of what's to come from future performance-oriented Genesis models.

We don't find this surprising, given the Genesis brand has the word "sporty" embedded in its DNA. Hyundai introduced the Genesis nameplate in 2009 as the Genesis Coupe, a rear-wheel drive sports car derivative of the Genesis luxury sedan. Production for the Genesis Coupe ended in 2016 in preparation for relaunching Genesis as a standalone brand. Nevertheless, the automaker has produced many hits; starting with the G90, G80, and the spectacular G70.

Moreover, Genesis debuted its first SUVs — the GV70 and GV80 — in 2020, followed by an electrified GV70 and the all-electric GV60 EV. The GV80 is good enough to rival Lexus and other German contenders, but the Genesis GV80 Coupe Concept is taking direct aim at the Porsche Cayenne Coupe — a rather tall order for a brand that introduced its first SUV less than four years ago.

Genesis GV80 Coupe: A Sportier GV80

Indeed, Genesis is following in Porsche's footsteps in capturing the hearts and minds of deep-pocketed SUV buyers. However, the production GV80 Coupe might not be as hardcore as Porsche's record-breaking Cayenne Coupe. Instead, Genesis claims the GV80 Coupe is a spicier and curvier rendition of a standard GV80 that "combines the practicality of a lifestyle-oriented SUV with the dynamism of a sports car."

"At its inception, the Genesis brand began creating luxury sedans, which evolved into the G70, G80, and G90 models," said Luc Donckerwolke, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Hyundai Motor Group. "Now we are pushing the envelope with more emotional cars that elevate Genesis' performance and dynamic attributes."

It starts with how it looks, to which we say bravo, Genesis. The family resemblance is uncanny with the concept's Double G-Matrix crest grille and quad headlight clusters. The long hood and bulbous proportions remain, but it now wears a carbon fiber sloping roof and a pair of wind spoilers to seal the deal. Riding on custom forged five-spoke aluminum wheels with contrasting bright Magma paint, the GV80 Concept looks ripe for production and the adoration of crossover enthusiasts worldwide.

The beauty of white space

Genesis claims the GV80 Coupe Concept's interior is a delicate balance of athleticism and the brand's "Beauty of White Space" design idiom. You'll find a three-spoke steering wheel wrapped in suede and Nappa cowhide, and four seats with plaid double-stitch patterns to infuse a pseudo-retro vibe.

The most hardcore portion of the Genesis GV80 Coupe Concept's cabin is behind the rear bucket seats, a G-Matrix strut brace typically found in racing cars. Of course, a sporting setup deserves a raucous motor, but Genesis said nothing about what's under the hood. Though unconfirmed, it's possible the GV80 Coupe Concept will launch with the G90's twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 gas engine equipped with an electric supercharger — meaning it could pump out performance somewhere in the range of the G90's 409 horsepower.

Moreover, we could see the GV80's 375-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 gas engine appear in the production GV80 Coupe, but for now that's just speculation. All we know is that Genesis dealers will soon have a new looker on the lot, and it'll likely cost less than an equivalent German or Japanese sport SUV.