2018 Genesis G80 Sport is much more than a Hyundai – Chicago Tribune

The launch of Hyundai’s premium Genesis brand is getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment: No respect.

For the first day in the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport, my passengers would smooth their hands over the leather seats and soft touch dash, open and close the panoramic sunroof, note the silly analog clock. They’d admit it was nice, for a Hyundai.

This is the challenge for the South Korean automaker, and a fair one as it ramps up product for its premium brand.

The same challenge was made when Toyota introduced Lexus, Honda with Acura, Nissan with Infiniti. Hyundai will have a tougher time due to the outdated but lingering stigma of it being a budget brand; the presence of youthful sister-brand Kia further muddles the Hyundai’s Group’s three brands. Unlike other Asian premium brands, Genesis aims to separate itself like Cadillac has done from General Motors. The three Genesis sedans and forthcoming three crossovers will use a rear-wheel-drive platform, the designs come from German engineers, and the brand is establishing its luxury bona fides in its home country first.

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