Genesis readies first crossover with fuel cell concept

The production version of the GV80 is expected to hit the market in 2018, on the heels of the upcoming G70 compact luxury sedan. Photo credit: REUTERS

Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand is affirming its belief in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as a pillar of its zero-emission strategy with an early concept of the brand’s first crossover.

The vehicle, called the GV80 Concept, teases the first of two crossovers Genesis has promised by 2020. It debuted Wednesday at the New York auto show.

“There is a unique energy and diverse global culture to New York that is fitting for Genesis, and we are excited to unveil the GV80 Concept here,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, Genesis’ global brand boss. “This concept is an important milestone for the brand to share our vision of the future, introducing a further expansion of our product portfolio.”

The production version of the GV80 is expected to hit the market in 2018, on the heels of the upcoming G70 compact luxury sedan. It will be a midsize crossover aimed at the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLE series and the BMW X5.

The Genesis GV80 Concept features a curved 22-inch organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen mounted atop the dashboard.

The vehicle is initially expected to come with a traditional internal combustion engine; plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell variants would join the lineup later.

The fuel cell powertrain to be used in Genesis production models is likely to be similar to the one Hyundai plans to introduce in a new dedicated hydrogen-fueled crossover next year, as teased at the Geneva auto show with the FE Fuel Cell Concept.

Hyundai isn’t alone in spreading its considerable investment in fuel cell technology to its luxury offerings; Toyota has indicated that it plans a hydrogen fuel cell model of its redesigned Lexus LS sedan that would mostly share its powertrain with the next-generation Toyota Mirai.

The Genesis GV80 Concept is also a first look at the potential styling cues of Genesis’ first production crossover. The sleek four-door features a prominent chrome mesh grille flanked by a pair of thin horizontal headlights.

The production version of the GV80 is expected to hit the market in 2018, on the heels of the upcoming G70 compact luxury sedan.

Inside, it has a curved 22-inch organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen mounted atop the dashboard. The screen is controlled by a touch-sensitive pad in the center console or by the four metal accents embedded in the console (each controls a function: navigation, phone, climate or entertainment).

The production GV80 will be followed by a smaller crossover this decade that would compete with the BMW X3 and that could become Genesis’ volume leader. A two-door coupe version of the G70 is expected after that.

The G70 sedan is expected to debut this year.

You can reach David Undercoffler at undercoffler@crain.com -- Follow David on Twitter: @autonews_west

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