Because Genesis can't have all the luxury fun.
The Hyundai Palisade is already an icon for the Hyundai brand, dominating the midsize three-row SUV segment since the moment it debuted alongside its World Car of the Year-winning sibling, the Kia Telluride. It's quickly become one of our favorite family cars on sale, with a refined drive, exceptional interior, and high levels of specification all standing out as high points for the halo SUV.
However, thanks to documentation filed with the NHTSA, revealed by Kurt67 on GVforums.com, we now know the Palisade family will be growing, with the 2021 model year bringing a new range-topping Calligraphy model to the US to bridge the gap between the Palisade and the Genesis GV80 luxury SUV.
The VIN document from the NHTSA breaks down the various aspects of the 2021 Palisade, but it's the digit in the fifth slot that matters here. The Calligraphy will join the SE, SEL, and Limited trims levels as a top-spec trim, expanding the offering to four in total. The document also gives us a little insight into other aspects of the Calligraphy model, like the fact that it will rely on the same 3.8-liter Lamda II V6 gasoline engine as the current lineup, developing 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.
What we don't know is just how much the levels of specification will improve.
The current pinnacle of the roster, the Limited, already boasts bi-LED headlights, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated first and second-row seats, power-operable third-row seats, a heated steering wheel, 'premium' dash and door finishes, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, power sunroof, in-car intercom, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
We expect the Calligraphy will feature all this and more, with softer leather, possibly tri- or even quad-zone climate control, and massaging front seats. It will also likely retain the second-row captain's chairs of the Limited model, resulting in seating for seven, but expect those in the second row to gain additional amenities, too.
Pricing will naturally receive an increase but expect it to substantially undercut the circa $58,000 expected asking price of the Genesis GV80.