The BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF rival was offered in the UK exclusively with a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine. This high-spec lone model cost from £50,705, allowing the more comprehensive ranges of its rivals to enter the market with more affordable base prices.
"The Genesis was never built for the European market, it was conceived for the Korean and American markets," Hyundai UK managing director Tony Whitehorn told Autocar. "It shows a saloon car with a 3.8-litre engine is not really what is demanded in Europe, and in particular in the UK.
"we brought it in as much just to sample it: lots of people told us they’d driven a Genesis in America and liked it. It was also available in Australia and had done well there, so it was engineered in right-hand-drive. So we thought fine, let’s trial it and see how it goes."
Hyundai has launched the Genesis brand as a luxury vehicle division in several markets, where the Genesis saloon has been renamed the G80. The firm is also developing a smaller Genesis G70 (pictured below), which will sit below the G80 in the range. No date has been set for when the Genesis brand will make it to Britain, and some sources expect it to take several years, despite earlier, more optimistic predictions.
Alongside the G70 and G80, Genesis also produces the larger G90 saloon for the Korean, US, Chinese and Middle Eastern markets. But sales for saloon models in Britain have plummeted in recent years, falling by more than 50% compared with a decade ago, meaning an SUV model will lead Genesis’s UK charge.
Whitehorn told Autocar that no decision had yet been made on whether to bring the Genesis brand to the UK. In an earlier interview, he said: “The Genesis of today is more of an American car, but there are models coming that are more suitable for our market, such as the crossover and SUV. We bring out the SUV, there will be more interest.”