When the Genesis brand was launched in 2016, the predecessor to this 2022 Genesis G80 3.5T Sport Plus was nothing more than a rebadge. The car was good but had a ways to go before competing head to head against entries from Germany. Plans were in the works to make the next G80 something special with the help of ex BMW guru Albert Biermann. In 2018, the all new G80 hit the market to rave reviews but sadly a world hungry for crossovers would put a damper on their plans.
As Japanese and American luxury brands turned their focus away from sedans and coupes, Genesis followed up with the award winning G70 and revised G90. They made sure people understood that cars would remain a strong focus running alongside a full lineup of luxury crossovers. This year’s new entries include this 2022 G80 Sport, as well as a fully electrified version of the G80.
Thankfully, South Korea has a love affair with their sedans, and this has allowed Genesis to continue their investment in actual cars. This has allowed them to share these vehicles in other markets without investing large amounts of resources and money to specific regions that sell the Genesis brand. While the GV70 and GV80 crossovers have been getting all of the attention lately, Genesis decided that the already-competitive G80 could be made even better.
While most would bemoan the lack of an upgraded engine or additional horsepower, don’t let that deceive you. The 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 packs quite the punch to begin with and has been tuned to utilize an added Sport Plus mode. It cranks everything up a notch, from engine tuning to transmission calibration, steering response, and damping. Shifts are quick and provide the right amount of feedback, as this eight-speed transmission knows where it needs to be when driven with authority.
This engine puts out a healthy 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft. of torque at just 1,300RPM. Expect a 0-100km time of around 4.8 seconds. Handling has been improved as the adaptive suspension has been stiffened up front by four percent and 12 percent in the rear. All new rear-wheel steering transforms the G80 into an agile handler. Most buyers will never expect a car this large to handle so well and with this much authority. The turning radius on the G80 Sport is trimmed down by almost two feet from the regular G80.
Genesis has prioritized luxury over sport right across their lineup, and this is no different in the 2022 G80 Sport. The ride is exceptionally smooth and the car knows how to coddle its occupants. Road noise is hushed and bumps are minor annoyances even with the large low profile tire and wheel set up. Even in its “Comfort” setting, the G80 drives so well that most drivers will rarely need to engage more aggressive modes. Drivers can also customize their G80 Sport to their specific preferences via the infotainment system.
Sitting in the G80 is an absolute pleasure whether you are looking or touching. The materials used are first rate and recent tested vehicles with twice the price tag should be embarrassed in comparison. Nappa leather seating, knurled knobs, actual metal buttons and microfiber suede headliner give a very premium feel. The G80 Sport replaces the open pore wood with carbon fiber, the steering wheel looks more traditional and the seats have done away with the diamond pattern. The overall design is clean, minimalistic yet remains modern at the same time.
Our top spec Genesis G80 Sport includes the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with the fantastic blind spot cameras. With more bicyclists on the road downtown Toronto, I found this to be a true life saver. The 21-speaker Lexicon Sound System also happens to be one of the best performers available on the market. Sadly, access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not wireless, and as such a dangling cord looks out of place since everything else is laid out quite well.
Outside, there aren’t any major differentiators separating the G80 Sport+ from lesser models. You will however find 20-inch wheels with the diamond design integrated into the spokes. Dark bronzed chrome trim has replaced the standard setup and improves the overall look substantially. A small trunk lip spoiler finishes the minor upgrades, for an overall design that remains sporty and elegant. The G80 may not get as much attention as when it was first released, but the Sport will turn a few heads especially in this Cavendish Red colour.
Genesis Canada prices the G80 at $66,500 for the base 2.5T Advanced model. Stepping up to $73,500 for the bigger engine puts you right in the 3.5T Sport model, and our top-shelf Sport Plus trim rings in at $80,000. It’s not cheap, but this is the fully loaded model with no additional options available. Unique bits on the Sport Plus include the aforementioned cosmetic upgrades, Sport+ drive mode and launch control, Nappa leather seating, and more. For everything it adds, it’s a simple choice to make.
Sadly, truly midsize luxury sedans are few and far between. With Genesis supporting a range of actual cars along with sport utility vehicles, they have put themselves in a position to compete with big European players. The 2022 Genesis G80 3.5T Sport Plus proves the brand’s commitment to tried and true cars.