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You can tell a lot about the level of care that goes into the development of a vehicle by looking at some of the smaller aspects and details rather than just the overall execution of the vehicle.


2021 Genesis G80. (Images: Genesis)

It’s not that the vehicle as a whole doesn’t matter—after all, that’s what you’re buying, not the details—but that if the little things are done with care, there’s a good bet that the whole is done well, as well. The designers and the engineers who look to what might otherwise be overlooked clearly understand that when people get a new vehicle they spend a lot of time in it over their period of ownership, so after the new-car smell is gone, there still need to be things that make one feel happy with their purchase choice.

Consider the headlamps and the taillamps.

The headlamps look like this: 

G80 headlamp

The taillamps look like this:

G80 taillamps

There is a clear similarity there. It isn’t often that you find such symmetry from the front of a vehicle to the rear.

And because cars have sides, too, there’s this:

G80 sidevents

Look at the gear selector and the interface controller:

G80 controls

Note the knurling on both. There is evident balance.

And even the sideview mirror adjuster has the same metalwork, as do the tops of the power window tabs:

G80 adjusters

Small details telling a lot about the product.

Beyond Expectations

According to Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Genesis Motor North America, the goal of Genesis is to “disrupt the luxury consumer space. To exceed expectations.”

Let’s face it: there are plenty of luxury brands that have well-established places in the market and a couple more that have been persistently trying to gain ground over the past several years with only an occasional move in the right direction.

What’s more, there is Tesla taking many customers who have otherwise spent +$50,000 on vehicles from those established brands. And there are other companies that will make their moves into that space, as well.

All of which is to say that the people at Genesis have determined that they just can’t compete with as-good-as. They must go for better-than.

“Fearless & Passionate”

Or as SanYup Lee, senior vice president and head of Global Genesis Design, put it, “The world is totally fine without Genesis. No one is asking for more luxury cars.”

So understanding that, they are, as he puts it, “fearless and passionate,” and that design is central to their undertaking.

Speaking of the design of the G80, Lee said they have a “reductive, seamless approach.” Pointing to the rear fender, he points out the depth of draw, and how it contributes to a “simple, clean design.”

G80 fender

Clean lines.Deep draw.

On the inside he notes the “purity of the design, the beauty of the white space. We kept it pure and simple.”

But this doesn’t mean the interior is spartan and reductive. Where there appears to be wood, they are using wood. Where there looks to be metal, it is metal. And where there is metal there is that knurling.


Another word that is descriptive of the all-new G80 is balanced.

There is no question that this is a luxury car when you are walking toward it or sitting behind the wheel. But it is not something that is overwhelming in any aspect; things just seem right. Clearly above what you’d find in a mainstream sedan, but not a “Hey look at me! I’m special.”

It looks good. It is comfortable without being cushy. The 300-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged four moves it with authority (and the 375-hp, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 amplifies that).

And there are the remarkable details.