The Twin Turbo V6 Genesis G80 Sport Costs Almost As Much As The V8 Model

Having said that, while the V8 may be the more powerful of the two, the turbo six is probably the best choice for the Sport. It’s lighter, for one, it still makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and these days it’s tough to have anything with a “sport” designation of any kind not have a turbo four- or six; Cadillac, BMW and Mercedes all do it for the performance trims of their basic sedans. 

Plus, that power has no trouble getting the G80 up and going in quick fashion – Standard HTRAC AWD helps here, too. But what really got my juices flowing was just how good the in-gear acceleration is. That you can feel total confidence in the powertrain’s ability to get you out of almost any jam is a testament to Genesis engineers’ turbo-tuning skill. You’ll rarely miss an exit thanks to not being able to pass slow traffic in time, never worry about a pass on a two-lane highway and the like, so wide is the torque curve, with peak levels running from 1,300 RPM all the way to 4,500 RPM. When you’ve got eight gears to work with on top of all that, you can see how covering large expanses of highway is hardly a problem. The thing sounds good, too, even if there is a little electronic fakery in there.

Does it hold up to its “Sport” designation on more tumultuous terrain, though? 

If we’re talking simply ride and chassis neutrality, then the G80 is all aces. It gets performance-tuned adaptive suspension that can get along with most any undulation or berm, then settle everything back down when it comes time for a smooth highway cruise. It provides a magnificently comfortable and confidence-inspiring ride – I have no quarrel with that.

The thing is, it doesn’t seem to really enjoy being put through the paces. Sure, there’s a Sport mode that adds weight to the steering and stiffens that adaptive suspension up, but there isn’t much feedback past all that, so you never really want to push things too far since you can’t really tell what’s going on through the seat of your pants. Body roll and all that still stay pleasingly neutral, but you never quite shake the feeling you’re driving a big, heavy luxury car. 

Which probably won’t be too big of a problem for most buyers, who will likely be just fine with a car that whisks them from point to point smoothly while their favourite blues album gets pumped through the standard 900W, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and their butts get cooled by three-stage ventilated seats. They may enjoy a spot of more enthusiastic driving, but a somewhat down-on-communication chassis likely won’t upset them all that much. 

Especially when they consider the price. At $62,000, the G80 – fully-loaded, as seen here -- undercuts similarly-equipped competition by as much as seven grand. Even the top-spec, V8-powered Ultimate model starts at less than does the Mercedes E400, which is one up from base in that model line. It’s a similar story with the BMW 5 Series, though that does get a little closer to the ol’ Genny. Either way, this thing here’s a bargain, no two ways about it. Again, if Genesis wants to compete, this is how they’re going to do it, by keeping the buying process simpler and more affordable than the other guy’s. 

Speaking of the buying process: “simple” is an understatement; one of the main attractions when it comes to Genesis is that they’ll deliver the car right to your door for a test drive, which remains free whether you end up buying one or not. Pretty wild stuff, eh?

It kind of plays in to the sense of occasion you get while piloting the G80. It’s well-constructed, it’s spacious, it’s well-equipped and even though it’s not the most exciting of drives, it nevertheless had me wanting to spend more time behind that chunky, leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. I would say the challenge I threw down at the beginning of this story was met by the G80, and with gumption to boot. 

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