Solely final yr the Genesis G80 was all-new from the bottom up. With a alternative of two punchy turbo powertrains and the newest iteration of the Genesis design language, we discovered a lot to love within the Korean automaker’s third-generation luxurious mid-size sedan. All we needed was a contact extra athleticism. Apparently, we rubbed the appropriate lamp, as a result of for 2022 our want has been granted within the type of the brand new G80 Sport.
Extra responsive dealing with leads the listing of enhancements. Within the Status trim, which we drove, the adaptive suspension beneficial properties a novel tuning that stiffens the entrance and rear dampers by 4 p.c and 12 p.c, respectively. And with the newly out there summer-tire choice ($500), the Sport is certainly livelier. Blitzing by means of tree-lined curvy roads simply inland of the Central California coast, we appreciated its newfound agility by means of the corners.
Credit score additionally goes to the Sport Status mannequin’s rear-wheel steering, which turns the wheels in section above 37 mph to allow extra secure dealing with. Under that velocity, they’re going to flip in the wrong way by as much as 2 levels. The turning radius is sort of two toes tighter in consequence, with a full circle full in a comparatively trim 36.2 toes.
One change we didn’t want for: All-wheel drive is now normal on each G80 Sport. And since each V-6-powered G80 is now a G80 Sport, which means if you’d like rear-wheel drive, you may must accept the 300-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder mannequin. Reasonably unsportsmanlike, in case you ask us. However genies are identified for free interpretations.
Not less than the 375-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 stays a strong and prepared confederate. Its peak torque of 391 lb-ft is out there from 1300 to 4500 rpm, delivering a reassuring quantity of thrust in virtually any state of affairs. Midrange passing is the place it really excels, offering a punch of seamless energy on demand accompanied by a delightful, muted growl. The engine observe is electronically enhanced by means of the audio system, and we recognize the power to show it off utterly. Take observe, BMW.
Whereas we lament the lack of a real rear-wheel-drive mannequin, a minimum of the AWD system can shuttle one hundred pc of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. The eight-speed computerized can be fast to reply, although the tiny shift paddles require a protracted attain and may have you wishing for longer fingers. Unique to the Status trim is a Sport+ mode that options an aggressively fast shift sample, a real guide mode, and a extra permissive stability management. These chasing pink slips on Friday nights will recognize the addition of launch management. Select your opponents properly, nonetheless. In our earlier testing, a 4321-pound 2021 G80 with rear-wheel drive managed solely a 4.9-second dash to 60.
The good-looking sheetmetal receives a light steroidal injection at every finish. Up entrance, the decrease valance now tucks up on both facet towards the middle for a extra muscular look. The rear bumper is equally as sculpted, that includes beefy cutouts for a glimpse of the tire contact patches. A saucier shade palette contains Siberian Ice and Cavendish Purple, a hue reportedly impressed by the rubicund mud of Prince Edward Island.
Inside, bolder colours and supplies proceed this sportier theme. Steel-finished pedals add bling beneath your toes. Aluminum or carbon-fiber trim replaces wooden all through the cabin, whereas a brand new steering wheel has three spokes as an alternative of two. The herringbone sample on the seats has been dialed as much as 11, with sharply ribbed diagonal traces converging in a V-shaped exclamation level. When decked out in pink or black with contrasting stitching, the look exudes retro alienlike kind that followers of the 1983 miniseries V will recognize. The “ergo movement” seats commerce the pokes and prods of conventional therapeutic massage for refined, fixed actions meant to softly activate the again muscular tissues. We discovered the touch-sensitive seat controls to be surprisingly helpful: Simply grazing a fingertip over a swap reveals its corresponding operate on the 14.5-inch touchscreen.
And whereas that show stays a little bit of a attain for informal inputs, the console-mounted rotary knob is simple to grasp. We discover it curious that wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity continues to be absent, contemplating its prolific availability on lower-end Hyundai fashions. Elsewhere, beforehand non-compulsory facilities at the moment are normal, together with heating for the steering wheel and rear seats, a surround-view digital camera, and the excellent 21-speaker Lexicon audio system.
These upgrades, nonetheless minor, might sound fruitless in a market more and more dominated by SUVs. Of their brief time on the scene, the GV70 and GV80 have already commanded roughly 60 p.c of Genesis gross sales. However reps for Genesis insist that the SUVs have additionally supplied a halo impact for the remainder of the lineup, luring in patrons new to the model. Providing a viable sedan various is a vital a part of the portfolio, they declare, and justifies such an funding within the G80 just one yr after its launch.
The brand new G80 Sport provides spark to an already spectacular bundle. And with its beginning worth of $64,495, we predict the G80 Sport is a viable competitor to the six-cylinder choices from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
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