Genesis is gearing up to battle the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 with its first ever luxury SUV.
Since Genesis launched as a standalone brand, it hasn’t posed much of a threat to its more established luxury rivals. Luckily, to help boost sales Genesis is planning to launch its first ever luxury SUV next year. It will be a production version of the gorgeous GV80 concept that debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show, which will compete against the BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes GLE. While the company’s first SUV hasn’t been officially revealed yet, our spy photographers have given us a first look at a prototype GV80 being put through its paces during cold weather testing.
A thick layer of camouflage prevents us from getting a good look at the design details, but the prototype can be seen sporting a similar crest grille to future Genesis models like the 2020 G90 sedan. It will also share some cues from the GV80 concept, such as the distinctive quad taillights.
Elsewhere, the prototype adopts similar design lines to the G80, as well as a long hood, sloping roofline, and large five-spoke alloy wheels, giving the SUV a sporty look. At the back, we can see a dual exhaust system, but the copious amounts of camouflage disguise the overall shape rather well.
The Genesis GV80 is expected to be built on the same platform as its redesigned G80 sedan sibling. Both models are expected to offer both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, as well as a range of engine options including an entry-level 3.8-liter V6, a mid-range 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, and a range-topping 5.0-liter V8.
While Genesis could do with a profitable SUV in its line-up sooner rather than later, we probably won’t see the production GV80 unveiled until 2020. While the GV80 will be a mid-size SUV, a smaller GV70 is expected to follow as a rival to the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes GLC