Should BMW be put on notice?
The Genesis G80 luxury sedan was all-new for the 2020 model year and continues to impress in all relevant categories, specifically luxury, refinement, design, and build quality. More elegant than ever, the new G80 may also have something of a wild side Genesis has been holding back. No, we're not talking about a potential BMW M5 fighter, but rather something more mid-range on the performance scale.
Speaking to Motor Trend, Genesis President and CEO of North America, Mark Del Rosso, made very clear there's a good chance we'll be seeing the return of the G80 Sport. He didn't directly state this will be happening but his choice of words was quite clear. "Let your imagination run wild," he said. "Stay tuned on Sport. You never know." Again, nothing specific but it was nowhere near any outright denial.
The previous G80 Sport, sold from 2017 through earlier this year, came powered by the same 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque found in the Kia Stinger GT. An eight-speed automatic transmission directed power to the rear or all four wheels.
To help look the part, Genesis beefed up the sedan's exterior with sportier bumpers, quad exhaust tips, a mesh grille, and staggered wheels. Chances are, a new G80 Sport will come powered by the brand's new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of twist. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 from the previous model has been dropped, so forget that option. But there's a lot of potential with that new V6. Assuming Genesis proceeds with the project, we'd definitely like to see more power squeezed out of the new engine, a task which certainly seems doable.
Cranking it up to at least 400 hp would be a great start. Also, the exterior could use a dose of adrenaline to make it better stand out against the standard G80. Genesis needs to do more than just add enhanced bumpers and other relatively basic cosmetic upgrades. But if there's one thing Genesis has proven over the years is that it's not afraid to take chances.
We're constantly being reminded by Genesis executives that it's a young brand still creating a vision and heritage for itself. There are all kinds of possibilities going forward. Let a new G80 Sport be one of them.