The German brands might have perfected the sporty luxury sedan recipe, but that doesn’t mean Genesis can’t take a crack at blending the comfort of a premium saloon with the performance of a sports car. The G80 Sport isn’t quite up there in terms of power with the likes of M, RS, and AMG as it lacks the V8 you’ll find at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, but its V6 is quite thrilling in the new Sport version.
That’s because the G80 Sport comes with a new Sport+ driving mode providing superior throttle response and quicker gear shifts from the eight-speed automatic transmission. The twin-turbo 3.5-liter unit produces 375 hp and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft) as before, enough for a sprint 60 mph in 5.4 seconds with the launch control activated. That might not be overly impressive, but it’s more than decent on a rainy day with a soaking wet road and given the heft and size of the vehicle.
The KDM-spec test car had the optional Dynamic Package, which aside from adding the Sport+ mode and launch control, it also includes rear-wheel steering, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, and noise-cancellation tech by emitting an inverted sound wave. Speaking of noise, the G80 Sport can also pump out artificial engine sound through the speakers in multiple selectable stages, but thankfully, it can be completely turned off.
The reviewer insists the Sport+ mode is more than just a gimmick as it actually makes a difference, sharping things up here and there to make the G80 Sport feel more athletic. The same holds true for the rear-axle steering as aside from improving the turning circle, it makes the large sedan seem more nimble during high-speed cornering.
In its domestic market, the Dynamic Package costs the equivalent of $2,600 and can only be had with the V6. As a refresher, the G80 Sport is also sold with the smaller 2.5-liter gasoline unit and even a 2.2-liter diesel, which goes without saying won’t be offered in a potential G80 Sport for the US market. Other aspects that separate the Sport from the normal G80 include the 20-inch alloy wheel set and a stiffer suspension setup, while all-wheel drive comes as standard.
Genesis has only announced the G80 Sport for South Korea, but it’s likely only a matter of time before the spicy flavor of the midsize sedan will be introduced in other markets. As a refresher, Hyundai’s luxury brand is finally coming to Europe where the normal G80 has been confirmed, along with the Electrified G80, GV80 SUV, and the larger G90 / GV90. In addition, the Old Continent is getting the smaller G70 / GV70, complete with a market-exclusive G70 Shooting Brake.