2022 Genesis G80 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige First Test: Quiet Assassin
When it comes to sport sedans, Genesis might not be high on your list of automakers that first come to mind. Its origins lie in a rear-drive Hyundai sport sedan introduced in 2008 and named “Genesis,” but a drastic rebranding as a standalone luxury marque in 2015 changed what Genesis stands for. Nonetheless, Genesis’ sporty roots are still found in the 2022 Genesis G80 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige. Indeed, the G80’s interior features Nappa leather and carbon-fiber trim, and while the car’s exhaust note leaves something to be desired, its acceleration and handling sure don’t.
The G80 3.5T AWD’s standard equipment already made it a great buy. You get some advanced driver aids in the form of lane keep assist and collision avoidance, and a smart-cruise system that works in stop-and-go traffic. You also get LED headlights and taillights, leather seating with 12-way power-adjustable front seats, and more.
The Sport Is Really Sporty
When you step up to the Sport Prestige trim with summer tires, you start to see just how great the 2022 Genesis G80 really is. This $6,800 trim package includes those Nappa leather seats and carbon-fiber trim, suede headliner and pillars, a head-up display, active noise control, and a 12.3-inch 3-D digital instrument cluster.
In addition to 20-inch Sport wheels wrapped in a set of summer tires (245/40 R20 front and 275/35 R20 rear), you get an electronically controlled sport-tuned suspension and rear-wheel steering. The latter is incredibly useful, as it reduces the standard G80’s 38.1-foot turning circle to 36.2 feet. It also makes driving our skidpad and figure-eight course a breeze, with one tester noting, “The G80 kind of shrinks around you when you drive it aggressively.” And with stability control deactivated, “You can steer it with the throttle on the skidpad without the need to use the steering wheel.”
Whoa It Down
The 2022 Genesis G80’s Sport wheels are fitted around a set of monobloc four-piston front brake calipers that clamp 14.2-inch front discs. The rears are single-piston calipers whose pads grab 13.6-inch rear discs. The brake system is also electronically boosted for some solid and consistent braking: With only slight deviation in our 60-0-mph testing, we saw an average of 107.25 feet, with a best stopping distance of 106 feet—which the car achieved repeatedly—and a worst distance of 111 feet. The latter only happened once, on our fourth and final run. Thanks to the electronic brake boost, you can set how the brake pedal feels. Sport mode made the brakes bite hard and provided a lot of pedal feedback; Comfort mode had them ease on the application like you’re stepping on a pillow, with minimal feedback.
Off Like a Rocket—Without the Harshness or Sound
With 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, the Genesis G80’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 doesn’t quite feel as powerful as the numbers suggest. It’s almost too refined for the car’s performance nature; the shifts, even in Sport Plus mode, are not harsh at all. That’s not a negative, mind you, as the transmission’s programming is on point with its ability to hold a gear on the skidpad and to upshift quickly when you’re driving hard.
Although the 2020 Genesis G80 Sport is nimble and fast, it doesn’t sound like it from the cabin. With traction- and stability-control systems switched off and a 2,300-rpm launch, the G80’s rear end would only step out slightly, but you wouldn’t know it was barking the tires from within the quiet cockpit. Yes, this car is supposed to be a luxury sedan, but being able to hear the tires and the engine would be nice. If you like your sport sedans to not make much noise, the G80 Sport Prestige will fulfill that desire. It will also certainly surprise you and your passengers once everyone glances at the speedometer and sees how fast you’re moving.
Despite its muted soundtrack, the 2022 Genesis G80 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige is an impressive car overall, and the Genesis brand continues to create cars that rival other makes that have been around for decades. We recommend including the Genesis G80 and its 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige trim on your list of contenders when you’re shopping for your next luxury sport sedan.
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