Genesis GV80 Concept Previews Future SUV
Offering a first “subtle glimpse” into the future of the brand’s product plans, the Genesis GV80 Concept debuted at the New York Auto Show. This fuel cell-powered premium SUV builds on the automaker’s “Athletic Elegance” styling while serving as a precursor to a new vehicle segment Genesis plans to explore. According to Genesis chief Manfred Fitzgerald, the GV80 Concept is “an important milestone” that “introduces a further expansion of our product portfolio,” although it remains to be seen exactly how much of this dramatic zero-emission SUV will make it into the showroom.
The GV80 Concept’s tautly sculpted but refined exterior has a sophisticated flair that embodies both architectural and organic influences. The prominent crest grille with its diamond-mesh insert and jewel-like slim-line LED lighting defines its bold front fascia and is complemented by unique outboard intakes that channel air past the front wheels and integrated side rockers. The rear boasts a similarly elegant tail that relies on fiber-optic rear lamps to create a distinctive nighttime signature and incorporates functional vents in the lower valance to help maintain proper cooling of its powertrain components. To elevate its profile, the design team matched the GV80 Concept’s sweeping roofline with side pillars that have an open structural-truss viewable from inside the cabin. The prominently flared fenders of the SUV are filled with huge 23-inch tires wrapped around alloy wheels that reprise the same mesh-style motif.
Reflecting a premium mix of color, texture and materials, the GV80 Concept’s cleanly styled cabin has rich diamond-tufted semi-aniline leather and Architexture suede set off with polished aluminum and real slate ash wood on the full-length center console that separates its four individual seats. The wood is also used for cabin flooring. Even the cargo area is rendered in a mix of slate ash, dark gray leather and Architexture suede with contrasting metal tie downs.
On a functional front, the dash of the GV80 Concept is fitted with a 22-inch curved OLED infinity display divided into separate driver- and passenger-focused zones. It works in concert with an integrated circular controller that pairs a knurled rotary knob and a concave glass touchpad with handwriting recognition. Various functions also can be accessed via two pairs of polished metal “strings” on the upper surface of the console area that either front seat occupant can merely tap to directly operate the navigation, entertainment, communication or environment systems. These capacitive-touch inputs also can be used to dial-in custom settings for an individual driver.
Genesis had little to say about the plug-in hydrogen fuel cell technology used in the GV80 Concept save for that it offers eco-oriented performance that will fulfill the desires of today’s “urban adventurers.” They also confirmed plans to study the potential benefits of fuel cells as well as other alternative green powertrain technologies for all types of upcoming Genesis models. However, they did stop short of saying when we might see a production-spec GV80 or an SUV of any sort actually enter the Genesis lineup.
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