The Genesis G90, which has been around since end-2015, has been given a mid-life makeover, and this facelift is a big one. Almost unrecognisable from its predecessor, the G90 facelift – revealed this week in South Korea – boasts all-new front and rear ends.

Korea is very advanced in plastic surgery face swaps, and the flagship Genesis is a good example of that. The brand’s six-pointed hexagon grille has morphed into a five-pointed shield – think Superman logo, or giant underpants – with a chrome honeycomb insert replacing horizontal slats. As before, the winged Genesis emblem sits above the grille.

Flanking the headlining grille are new LED headlamps that are rather distinctive – four beams, divided in the middle by a DRL strip, which nearly touches the wheel arches. After a brief interruption, that light strip continues on the front wings.

The bonnet – which has two extra lines down the middle – and front wings are new too. Also check out those elaborate 19-inch wheels, which doesn’t follow the five-spoke/multi-spoke convention. So far so controversial, but better to be bold than completely overlooked as both an underdog and wallflower, right?

While the rear design of the pre-facelift was safe in an S-Class kind of way, the refreshed G90’s butt is unique. Two full-width LED light strips dominate, with the top line pausing for the Genesis script in the middle. It’s a bit like what Lincoln does in the US, but it’s very distinctive.

No such makeover for the G90’s cabin, which looks pretty much the same as before. However, the controls have been simplified, the air con vents made slimmer and the infotainment UI updated. The system is now able to receive over-the-air updates for both maps and software. Also visible is a change in wood trim, which is now of the unpolished open pore variety.

The G90 comes with Hyundai’s latest driver assist tech – it now has lane-centering, the forward collision avoidance system can now detect bicycles, and there’s a safe exit assist feature, too.

No word on changes under the hood, so it’s likely that the 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 (365 hp/510 Nm) and 5.0 litre naturally aspirated V8 (420 hp/520 Nm) engines remain, paired to an eight-speed automatic and optional H-TRAC all-wheel drive.

Better to be safe than sorry? The previous G90 believed in that, this one doesn’t – let’s see if being bold pays off for the young premium brand.

GALLERY: 2019 Genesis G90


GALLERY: Pre-facelift Genesis G90