The 2020 Genesis G80 has finally made its official global debut ahead of a planned sales launch in South Korea on March 30, before arriving in North America during the second half of next year. The model competes against the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lincoln Continental and Volvo S90.

According to the company, the latest G80 represents the third generation of the model, succeeding from the second-generation Hyundai Genesis, which was renamed to the G80 when the Korean carmaker launched its Genesis luxury sub-brand in December 2015.

As a result, the G80 lineage is traced all the way back to the first-generation Genesis that arrived in 2008, rather than from the formation of the Genesis brand and the introduction of the first G80 in 2016.

In terms of dimensions, the new car measures 4,995 mm long, 1,925 mm wide and 1,465 mm tall, which makes it longer (+5 mm), wider (+35 mm) and shorter (-15 mm) than its predecessor. However, the wheelbase remains the same at 3,010 mm.

Styling-wise, the new G80 commands more presence than ever before, adopting the company’s “Athletic Elegance” design ethos. The company’s signature “crest grille” dominates most of the front end and is flanked by two-tier headlamps (like on the GV80), each sporting a distinctive daytime running light signature that doubles as turn indicators.

Further down, the lower apron is made up of a wide-width mesh in a diamond pattern, further emphasising the “intake heavy” fascia, while the bonnet gets two crease lines that originate from the tips of the Genesis wing badge.

Along the sides, we find prominent side gills that continue the look of the headlamps with light strips that act as turn indicators. The fastback-like profile is also clear to see from this angle, along with prominent creases near the beltline to link the lighting clusters, as well as a kinked window line and 20-inch wheels.

Another distinct cue is the chrome trim that runs from just behind the front wheels to the rear bumper, meeting with the car’s reflectors. The back also gets taillights that mimic the headlamps and is joined by a lipped boot lid (with chrome trim) and exhausts shaped like the crest grille.

Like the exterior, G80’s cabin has been made to become even more upmarket than before, with inspiration from the GV80. Following the “Beauty of White Space” theme, it is a lot more minimalistic in appearance, with slim air vents placed just above wood trim that spans the width of the dashboard.

Taking centre stage is a 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is linked to a supplementary controller on the centre console, and has a host of connected features, including Genesis CarPay in-car payment services, smart home support over-the-air updates, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

A second display is a 12.3-inch unit in the instrument cluster with 3D graphics, but this can be changed to a regular 2D display depending on the driver’s preference. Other controls at the front include quick access buttons beneath the wood trim and climate controls with a small display for easy legibility.

Luxuries to make the drive more comfortable include an ergo motion function for the driver’s seat that features seven air cells to ensure an optimum seating position and reduce fatigue during long journeys via a stretching mode and automatic posture correction functions.

The G80 also comes with ambient lighting, a Lexicon sound system, Active Sound Design, a twin-filter air purification system and rear-seat touchscreen displays that can be used for video and audio inputs independently of one another.

Available safety and driver assist systems that come standard include 10 airbags, Pre-active Safety Seat (PSS), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Remote Smart Parking Assistant (RSPA) and Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA).

There’s also Highway Driving Assist II (HAD II), which allows the car to change lanes automatically using the turn signal, and Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning (SCC-ML) that assists the driver by learning his or her driving characteristics.

For power, the G80 gets two petrol engine options, starting with a 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder that develops 304 PS (300 hp) and 421 Nm of torque. There’s also a larger 3.5 litre V6 if you need more grunt, providing 380 PS (375 hp) and 530 Nm. These engines replace the the previous model’s offerings, which include the 3.3 and 3.8 litre turbocharged Lambda V6s, as well as the Tau 5.0 litre V8.

Only a sole diesel powertrain is listed – a 2.2 litre turbodiesel four-pot – with 210 PS (207 hp) and 441 Nm. Each powertrain will be available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and should be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

These engines help to propel a car that weighs less this time around, as aluminium accounts for about 19% of the new G80’s construction, allowing it to shed 110 kg over its predecessor. The new car also has a lower center of gravity for better handling, with adaptive suspension that adjusts based on what is on the road ahead.