As per a post on Korean auto site TopRider, Genesis plans to launch two variants of the G80 in 2021. First is the eG80, which comes in the first half of the year, that is to be followed by the ‘Sport’ variant of the regular G80.
In September, an autospy.net reader posted a new spy shot that reveals a Genesis eG80 with a solar roof. It suggests that Hyundai Motor Group will sell the penultimate Genesis sedan variant with a roof option, the same way it offers the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid since 2019.
The solar roof adds 1,300 km to the Sonata’s driving range, but that’s only if the car is parked under the sun for about 6 hours everyday. In a decade, the solar roof could gradually shift from a lifestyle statement to a more practical solution that recharges the car’s primary battery and prevent discharge accidents. Given the limitations in the technology, the least a Genesis eG80 driver can expect from the roof cells is assistance to the vehicle’s auxiliary electrical systems like the cabin lights, air conditioner and the black box camera.
In August, Motorgraph.com reader Kwon Seong-su had shared spy pictures of a Genesis eG80 test mule captured in busy Seoul traffic, revealing its exclusive alloy wheels.
In earlier updates, a report from thekoreancarblog.com said that pilot production of the Genesis eG80 would begin on 1 October 2020. The manufacturing will take place Hyundai Motor Company’s Ulsan Plant No. 5. The website also claimed that the first Genesis electric car will have its charging port on the grille and will be released in the first half of next year. According to one of the previous reports from the same portal, the pure electric version of the Genesis G80 will have a range of 500 km and come equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving technology.
The battery pack is said to be sourced from SK Innovation with which Hyundai has signed an agreement and the autonomous technology is expected to be jointly developed by Hyundai and Samsung Electronics. The electric version of the Genesis G80 is also reported to come with driver assistance features that are present in the regular G80 including Highway Driving Assist II, forward collision avoidance assist, smart cruise control with machine learning, blind spot collision avoidance assist and pre-active safety seat.
The development of autonomous technology between Hyundai and Samsung came in the wake of meetings between Chung Euisun, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group and Lee Jae-Yong, Vice Chairman, Samsung Group.
Image Source: motorgraph.com
The above picture, captured in April this year, shows a Genesis eG80 test vehicle covered completely in camouflage at a station with its hood open at a service area in Busan. The 19-inch dish-type wheels, crest grille and quad headlamps confirm that the test mule is a G80 with an electric powertrain.
While there were reports earlier that claimed the G80 will be getting PHEV version, this isn’t one as PHEVs do not support rapid charging function. This prototype has the charger connected inside the engine bay with the hood open, which could mean the final positioning of the charger wasn’t finalized at this point. A Kia Bongo 3 EV commercial truck is also seen accompanying this eG80.
Genesis JW EV
HMG is working on a standalone Genesis electric vehicle as well, codenamed ‘Genesis JW‘. The company will build on its e-GMP architecture that will underpin models from Hyundai (Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 & Ioniq 7) and Kia (Kia CV/Imagine) as well. The JW EV will compete with electric crossover models from Audi, Mercedes and Tesla. The JW EV is a more advanced vehicle with features like 18 minute charging time to reach 80 per cent charge, virtual mirrors and wireless charging, as reported on the South Korean press.
Genesis launch in India – Possible timeline?
In the past, Hyundai India’s management has confirmed that the company is considering launching the Genesis brand in India. This year, the company trademarked a string of names with Indian authorities and with it showed intent to use them in the no-too-distant future. Names eG80, eG90, eGV70, eGV80 and eGV90 were trademarked.
One of the reasons for the delay is attributed to the lack of an SUV range (Genesis launched its first SUV, the GV80, this year) as well as priority markets like Europe and China where the brand needs to invest heavily and big volumes are to be had before hunting for niches. The economic slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic would hit the luxury segment harder than the others, and the Indian launch of the Genesis brand may not unravel before 2022.