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January 19, 2021

Hyundai preps Genesis for Europe – China next?

With 108,184 registrations and a year-on-year rise of 90 per cent, Genesis became South Korea's number three brand in 2020, gliding past Samsung, SsangYong, Chevrolet-Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. Sales are also rising in Canada, the USA, Australia and a handful of other countries. Next - this year - the brand pushes into Europe, and then surely China must be next. Let's look at the premium marque's latest and future models.

With 108,184 registrations and a year-on-year rise of 90 per cent, Genesis became South Korea’s number three brand in 2020, gliding past Samsung , SsangYong, Chevrolet-Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz . Sales are also rising in Canada, the USA, Australia and a handful of other countries. Next – this year – the brand pushes into Europe, and then surely China must be next. Let’s look at the premium marque’s latest and future models.

SUVs

The GV70, Genesis’ second SUV, was revealed online at the end of October with the first examples turning up in South Korea’s registrations data for November.

There is also a GV70 SPORT which has its own front bumper, darkened exterior trim, larger tailpipes and unique 21-inch wheels. Inside, the SPORT has what is claimed to be carbon fibre trim.

Up to three engines are available, each one turbocharged, depending on the market: 2.2-litre diesel, 2.5-litre petrol and 3.5-litre petrol. In the US and Canada, only the four- and six-cylinder gasoline engines will be offered when sales start later this year.

We should also expect a GV70 plug-in hybrid. That would be due well before the 2024 mid-point of what should be a six/seven-year build cycle. It might even be the case that such a powertrain will be the only one for European markets, although the diesel is possible too.

An electric SUV is due to arrive later in 2021, based on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). This bespoke architecture will be used by each of HMG ‘s three brands.

The ‘GEV70‘ (the official name remains secret) will be a battery-electric crossover to take on the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi Q4 e-tron, Tesla Model Y and others in the premium-priced D-SUV segment. Production is due to commence in June. We should expect a life cycle of six to seven years, which means a facelift in 2024 and a replacement in 2027/2028. Full details should be announced in Q2.

Meanwhile, the brand’s first SUV went on sale in January last year, production having begun during the prior month. South Korea was the first market, and the 4,945 mm long GV80 introduced HMG ‘s M3 platform. The first deliveries took place in Canada and the USA in November, new for the 2021 model year. Aside from annual tweaks, a mid-cycle facelift won’t fall due until the 2024 model year. The second generation should appear in CY2026.

In the home market, a 3.0-litre diesel is standard, in combination with rear-wheel drive. There was an unexpected and unfortunate problem with the new diesel in June 2020. Hyundai Motor immediately stopped deliveries of the GV80 with this powertrain once it learned that engines were showing signs of excess vibration. This was caused by carbon buildup when the engine was at idle for prolonged periods, the company told the Korean media.

Hyundai is working to find a solution and will notify consumers once more detailed checkups become available,” Hyundai Motor Corporation was quoted as stating. As at the stoppage of deliveries, around 8,000 GV80 diesel SUVs had been delivered and Genesis division had orders for a further 10,000.

There are also two petrol engines and these, rather than the diesel, are what buyers in North America can choose from: HMG ‘s new 2.5-litre four-cylinder (Theta 3) and 3.5-litre V6 (Lambda 3) units. Each has two turbochargers and 48 V electrics. The official names are Smartstream G2.5 T-GDi and Smartstream G3.5 T-GDi. The straight-six diesel is called Smartstream D3.0. Power outputs are said to be 304 PS for the 2.5-litre petrol, 380 PS for the 3.5-litre petrol and 278 PS for the 3.0-litre diesel. Each sends drive to the back or both axles via an HMG -developed eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

There have been claims that Hyundai is also developing a GV90 but at the moment this remains speculative. Such a model would be around 5.2-5.4 m long and therefore aimed at the likes of the BMW X7, Mercedes GLS, Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, future Volvo XC100 and successors for the Lexus LX and Infiniti QX80.

Cars

The G70 was revealed to the media in September 2017 at an event in South Korea. A facelift was then announced last October, with the restyle and revised engines line-up the main news for the 2021 model year in North America (the USA is the brand’s top market).

This 4.7 m long sedan is closely related to the KIA Stinger though it does not share that model’s hatchback body style. Aside from South Korea, the US and Canada, the G70 is also available in the Middle East, Russia and Australia. At the time of its launch in the latter market, Hyundai stated that all future Genesis models would be available in RHD form.

This RWD and AWD model originally offered the choice of up to three turbocharged engines: 254 hp 1,998 cc four-cylinder petrol, 202 hp 2,199 cc four-cylinder diesel and 365 hp 3,342 cc V6 petrol. The changes announced in October 2020 saw engines become 185 kW (252 PS) and 353 Nm (260 lb ft) 2.0-litre, 272 kW (370 PS) and 510 Nm (376 lb ft) 3.3-litre V6 and 149 kW (202 PS) and 441 Nm (376 lb ft) 2.2-litre diesel. There are also slightly more powerful versions of the petrol engines: 188 kW for the 2.0-litre SPORT and 274 kW for the 3.3-litre SPORT .

In the USA, where the G70 was introduced for the 2019 model year, both 2.0-litre and 3.3-litre engines are available. Unusually for the segment, the importer offers a manual gearbox. This is for the four-cylinder engine only. HyundaiKIA -Genesis’ own eight-speed automatic gearbox is optional, and standard for the turbo V6.

There have been rumours that a G70 Shooting Brake could join the line-up and these were seemingly confirmed when images of prototypes were published in June 2020. This suggests Hyundai is approaching the launch of Genesis in Europe in a well thought out way. That’s assuming of course that the plan is to sell such a model in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and other markets where people are keen on estates.

The life cycle is due to end in 2023 and at the moment, there is no confirmed replacement planned. Hyundai may instead remove its luxury division from this segment, depending on how buyer preferences for D segment sedans and estates evolve over the next few years. It could even be the case that the electric car due on sale sometime between this year and 2023 becomes an eventual, effective successor.

This vehicle is being developed with many of the same components as will feature in related Hyundai and KIA EVs. The KIA will come to market first, company insiders say (codename: CV), likely followed by the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and then a Genesis.

Rather than being an electric version of the G70, it is believed that the EV will instead be a special model which could be called ‘GE70‘. A hatchback or sedan, it should be around the same size as the Tesla Model 3. The architecture will be E-GMP.

Prototypes of a larger electric sedan – perhaps it will be called GE80 – have been photographed undergoing testing in South Korea. The range is expected to be in excess of 500 km and there are also reports of Level 3 autonomous drive features, some of the necessary tech being supplied by Samsung SDI. The battery will supposedly come from SK Innovation . Reports of the launch timing vary but 2022 seems a safe bet, along with a six to seven-year manufacturing cycle.

As for conventional cars in the E segment, Genesis already offers the 4,995 mm long G80. The latest RG3 series model, which has been in production at one of HMG ‘s Ulsan plants since March last year, is available with HMG ‘s Theta 3 and updated Lambda 3 engine families.

Theta 3 in the G80 is a 2,497 cc four-cylinder unit producing 224 kW (304 PS) and 421 Nm (311 lb ft), while a new generation of the Lambda V6 has a capacity of 3,470 cc and outputs of 280 kW (380 PS) and 530 Nm (391 lb ft). Each of these petrol engines has two turbochargers. Theta 3 and Lambda 3 will gradually replace the normally aspirated 3.8-litre V6 and biturbo 3.3-litre V6 in relevant Hyundai , Genesis and KIA models.

The third engine is not for North America but it does feature in the Korean market line-up. The 2,151 cc four-cylinder diesel produces 154 kW (210 PS) and 441 Nm (325 lb ft).

HMG ‘s new SmartStream 3.0-litre straight-six will likely also be added to the line-up at a later date, as should a G80 PHEV. All variants are due to be facelifted in 2023. A successor is pencilled in for 2026 or 2027 but it is too early to say whether or not it will be offered with petrol engines.

A new generation G90 should go on sale worldwide from early 2022. Today’s V8 may be phased out at that time too. HMG ‘s 400 PS 3.5-litre Lambda 3.5-litre V6 will likely continue though and there should also be a PHEV four-cylinder powertrain.

Genesis’ next full-size sedan should be equipped with LiDAR for Level 3 autonomous drive. Audi fitted some versions of the A8 with this capability but concerns over liability in the event of collisions meant that it was not switched on by the German firm. How Hyundai intends to keep itself immune from litigation is not known.

Insiders claim that the car’s cameras will be supplied by Mando , with radar coming from Velodyne and Hyundai Mobis.

As for an electric G90, this might not happen due to the RS4 series G90 being based on HMG ‘s M3 platform rather than E-GMP. There is also the issue of insufficient potential demand in key markets such as the USA, Russia and the Gulf States, at least in the early years of a life cycle which should stretch into 2028/2029. If cars such as the Mercedes EQS start to become profitable and sought after in countries where the G90 is available, then HMG will surely find a way to give Genesis some form of big electric sedan. 

Hydrogen

There are no specifically stated plans for any Genesis models which would run on Hydrogen. However, Hyundai Motor Group stated in December that it would use ‘HTWO’ as a new (sub-)brand for Hyundai , KIA and Genesis fuel cell vehicles. The luxury division’s first such vehicle could be on sale in relevant markets from around mid-decade.

Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future platform intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of GlobalData’s Automotive Intelligence Center.

This is the second report in a three-part series with HMG ‘s brands as its focus, the first brand having been Hyundai, with KIA coming next.

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