With the G80 and G90 sedans, Genesis has proved that it can build a world class luxury sedan, but what if you want something a little sportier? Next year Genesis will introduce its BMW 3 Series rival, the G70, which will likely inject some more sport into the lineup, but in the meantime, Genesis has also introduced the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport.
Just like its name suggests, the 2018 G80 Sport is intended to be the sportiest version of the G80 lineup, but how much actual “sport” did Genesis inject into to the sedan? Some automakers think a spoiler and bigger wheels are worthy of a “sport” badge, but luckily that’s not Genesis. The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport adds a new engine, suspension upgrades and even some nice styling additions to the mix. But is it worth it? Here’s what you need to know.
The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.3L V6 that generates 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque. That puts it directly in the middle of the three engine choices for the G80. With the base naturally aspirated 3.8L V6 generating 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft. and the top 5.0L V8 with its 420 horsepower and 407 lb-ft. of torque. All three engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is optional.
After having the chance to spend time with all three engines, the turbocharged 3.3L V6 is easily the best of the three. The 3.8L V6 is adequate as a cruiser, but isn’t very inspiring, while the 5.0L does have the most power of the three, the larger engine also puts a lot of weight where you don’t want it – in the front.
Sporty engine, not so sporty driving dynamics
While the 3.3L V6 may attempt to turn the G80 Sport into a true sports sedan, it’s largely let down by its light steering and hefty weight. The sound of the engine is great and the sedan gets up to speed with ease. But once the road turns a bit twisty, that’s when you realize that the G80 Sport is still designed more as a comfortable cruiser than a true sports sedan.
The G80 Sport’s steering is a bit too light and lacks feedback. It’s suspension is a bit more athletic than the other G80 models, but it’s not going to make you want to ring the sedan out on a back country road. Overall the G80 Sport seems to fight with itself. The 3.3L V6 says, sports sedan, but the steering and chassis say otherwise.
The best looking of the G80 models
You may forget the G80 started its life as the second-generation Hyundai Genesis. When Hyundai decided to officially create a Genesis sub-brand, the former Genesis sedan was simply rebadged the G80. There weren’t any big changes in the transition other than new badges. The G80 Sport brings some nice styling upgrades to the G80 with a more aggressive grille, and small little design details like the copper accents and sportier alloy wheels.
Just as comfortable and luxurious
While the G80 Sport’s exterior gets more aggressive styling details, the interior is pretty much identical to the other G80 models. Alloy pedals, carbon fiber trim and a few cooper design details are basically the only changes. While it would be nice to see sportier front seats as part of the mix, the interior is just as comfortable and luxurious as the rest of the lineup.
Don’t expect any N branded Genesis models
The G80 Sport is likely to be the most high performance version of the G80 that we’ll ever get. Genesis has already confirmed that it will not offer any high performance N branded models, like Hyundai. Instead the brand is going to focus on moving into the electric segment as soon as possible. Genesis is currently working on a fully-electric sedan that will arrive around 2021 with a driving range around 310 miles.
Pricing for the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport starts at $55,250 for the rear-wheel drive version, stepping up to the all-wheel drive G80 Sport starts at $57,750.