The usual culprit takes the blame, Fitzgerald saying, “We really have to pay close attention to markets and legislation and hedge our bets. Don’t expect another evolution of the V8.” The note on evolution is taken to mean that the coming G80 signals the beginning of the end for the 5.0-liter Tau V8 in the entire Genesis lineup. That means the recently revealed G90 could be the last V8 man standing for the South Korean luxury brand. We don’t know what will lead the way under the G80 SUV’s hood, but in a world where V8-powered performance SUVs are burning gas and grabbing cash, the lack of a V8 – even if not the Tau unit – would come as a bit of a surprise.
Fuel economy requirements have certainly played a part, even though the V8 only loses one mile-per-gallon in city, highway, and combined driving to the 3.3-liter. We’ve read rumors that the brand has two four-cylinder engines in development, one of them a turbocharged 2.5-liter with up to 300 hp. Another rumor figures the V8 could be replaced by a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The sedan ushers in the next step in Genesis’ design language, and the unique selling propositions Car and Driver describes as “futuristic details and proportions.” Based on spy shots, what we’ve seen is a great deal of detailing that points to a substantial evolution of the current car. There’s a shield-shaped grille cutting through reworked intakes, the door handles have been moved below a pair of wider shoulders and stronger shoulder lines, the side mirrors get new door-mounting locations, the trunk follows the slope of the rear window, and the rear fascia presents one flush surface.
The G80 makes its public entrance in September in South Korea, and it should reach American shores before the end of the year.