Genesis brand launches in Europe

Published: 04 May 2021

► Genesis name lifts off in Europe in summer
► Hyundai Motor Group luxe brand returns
► Line-up starts with G80 saloon and GV80 SUV

Posh Korean luxury brand Genesis has announced its official return to the European market. The company promises that customer service, a clear price structure and sharp design will win customers over, luring them away from the German premium-car establishment and Lexus.

Genesis says the launch will be phased, with Germany, Switzerland and UK being the first markets it enters. New ‘studios’ – or dealerships to you and me – will open in Munich, Zurich and London with two new models to sell from day one, and more to come soon after.

Genesis sounds familiar…

It will do, though perhaps to a smaller degree in the UK and Europe than the rest of the world. The brand is from Korea – part of the Hyundai Motor Group – and, after establishing itself properly as a standalone luxury player, has been gaining traction in the North American market and recently launched in China.

To most Europeans and Brits, the Genesis name came in the shape of the Hyundai Genesis saloon, an arguably ill-fated attempt for Hyundai to muscle into the luxury car market. Just 50 units were reportedly sold in the UK between its launch in 2015 and culling in 2017.

genesis gv80 suv

This time, Genesis says, is different. The groundwork has already been laid with bespoke models that don’t have Hyundai badges on, followed by a gentle expansion into electrification in the near future and a clear business plan to appeal to the most discerning customers.

‘Over the past five years, our customers around the world have come to recognise our commitment to exceptional design, quality and an authentic brand experience,’ said global head of Genesis brand, Jaehoon Chang. ‘We believe now is the right time for the next chapter in our brand history, and are excited to bring our distinct luxury vehicles to Europe.’

What ‘distinct luxury vehicles’ are we talking about?

genesis g80 gv80

The European market will launch with the G80 saloon and GV80 SUV – both radically-styled luxury cars recently launched in the US. The designs of both, inside and out, are certainly eye-catching, with large mesh grilles and shallow lighting. Genesis claims ‘unrivalled craftsmanship’, with both cars ‘comfortably meeting the demands of an active and connected lifestyle.’

Actual performance specs for the European versions aren’t confirmed yet but, for the US market, the engine range for both the G80 and GV80 includes a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo making 300bhp and a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 making 375bhp. Both use an eight-speed auto and optionally-available all-wheel drive.

What else is to come?

genesis g80 electric

Genesis says that the G70 saloon and GV70 SUV – roughly comparable to a BMW 3-series or X3 – will join the range at a later date.

On top of that, Genesis says that three electric cars will arrive ‘within the first year’ of the brand launching in Europe, one of which will be the electric G80 (above) that launched at the 2021 Shanghai motor show.

The other two Genesis EVs are expected to use Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform, which the fantastic Hyundai Ioniq 5 and new Kia EV6 already utilise. Expect to see something based on the Genesis X concept (below).

genesis x

What makes Genesis special?

The brand says it’s the customer service and ease of purchasing elements, on top of the cars. The dealers – sorry, ‘studios’ – will be staffed by ‘personal assistants’ who will guide you through the buying process from walking in to delivery. You can also order a Genesis online, and the brand says you will be able to get one on a subscription service similar to Volvo.

We’ll update this story with more details as they arrive.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches