By on May 20, 2019

2018 Genesis G80 - Image: Genesis Motors

We’re talking cylinders here, not model count. Genesis could certainly make use of more than three models — the fledgling brand’s two planned crossovers can’t come soon enough.

But back to engines. Currently, the Genesis lineup offers a 5.0-liter V8 option in both the G80 midsize and G90 full-size sedans, with a twin-turbo 3.3-liter serving as the models’ entry-level mill. However, Genesis now claims the Tau V8’s days are numbered.

Making 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, the Tau V8’s pulling power comes close to that of the 3.3L — the two differ by only 7 lb-ft, with the advantage going to the larger engine. However, displacement comes at a cost, and not just in terms of pricing. Fuel economy suffers with the V8, and its lifespan apparently now has an end date.

Speaking to Car and Driver, Genesis CEO Manfred Fitzgerald said the next-generation G80 appearing later this year won’t offer a V8 option.

“The G80 range will be topped off by the V6,” he said, adding, “We will have a brand-new G80 coming out this September in Korea and subsequently on global markets. With that car, you will see the next evolution of our design language.”

The G90 sedan received a refresh for 2019, and a full redesign of the model (assuming the slow-selling yet extremely competent sedan has a future at all) won’t occur anytime soon. Expect the G90 to continue onwards with an optional V8 for the remainder of this generation, but not beyond. No upgrades are planned for the Tau mill.

“We really have to pay close attention to markets and legislation and hedge our bets,” Fitzgerald said. “Don’t expect another evolution of the V8.”

This means Genesis’ upcoming GV80 crossover, which borrows its architecture from the G80 sedan, will probably eschew V8 propulsion right from the outset. The GV80 is expected to appear late this year or early next.

Engines aren’t the brand’s biggest concern right now — dealers are. After the brand switched to a carefully selected, standalone dealer presence in the United States, sales suffered. This stemmed from Genesis’ decision to sell down existing 2018 models last year in order to launch new dealers with only 2019 inventory in stock.

April’s U.S. sales tally of 1,605 vehicles was the brand’s best showing since January of 2018. Of that volume, 844 units were the new-for-2019 G70 compact sedan.

[Image: Genesis]


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31 Comments on “Eight Is *More* Than Enough for Genesis, Apparently...”

  • avatar

    Makes sense. Look forward to a 2020 G90 in a few years for a song of a deal. As I’ve said before, it’s the LS which Lexus is too scared to build.

  • avatar

    G80 for me but not this time around, maybe next time around.

    If Genesis’ CPO program includes Concierge Service, I’m there.

  • avatar

    I like V6s and I even own an H/K 3.3TT. However, while plenty powerful, the Korean turbo-6 experience is not befitting a highish-priced luxury car compared to the 5.0L.
    To do this successfully I think Genesis is going to need a clean-sheet new engine, not just a breathed on version of the existing Lambda architecture.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.5TT will provide enough power for most drivers and can see Genesis increasing performance by adding battery power.

      Can also see Genesis move to an inline-6 down the road.

      • 0 avatar

        Power isn’t the problem. The current 3.3TT has a relatively narrow power delivery and poor NVH for the luxury price class.
        I’m quite concerned that you just cite increasing future hp numbers (400!, 500!!) and expect that to be the proper salve for all things. A GT-R’s V6 makes 565hp, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in an S-class competitor.

        The G70 & Stinger need something with more lungs and G80/G90/Genesis CUVs need something smoother.

        • 0 avatar

          Yes, one of my favorite sayings is that power is no substitute for character. And that doesn’t just apply to car engines.

          Would have been cool for them to throw hybrid power in the mix. I doubt the V8 costs any more than the complicated TT V6. Hybridization could help retain the V8’s character while helping them hit whatever emissions/FE targets they need.

          • 0 avatar

            sportyaccordy, love your idea. Is anyone doing a V8 hybrid? Blown V6s are quick and fun on paper but that’s not translating to being better, more efficient, more reliable or better sounding than a V8.

        • 0 avatar

          It needs an inline 6 if they are staying in 6 cylinder mode just for the NVH alone. They can change the power delivery with different turbos, pluming etc, but the inherent V6 shake will always be there.

        • 0 avatar

          Which is why the displacement of the V6 is getting boosted to 3.5L.

          Battery power/motors to provide additional HP and instant torque is the way to go.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    A browse on Carmax will show you a few V8 powered 2015-2016 Genesis’ and Kia K900s for under $30k, with fewer than 50k miles.

    They are rated at 23mpg highway, which compares with, uhm, trucks.

    I think these quickly depreciated (50% value evaporated in 36 months!)luxury barges make a compelling value. But then again, when I consider the extremely low production numbers, I am fairly certain that repair parts and support will be virtually nil…which means even a minor fender bender or mechanical issue will send such a car to the crusher.

    I really don’t know how Genesis, as a brand, can possibly work. Killer depreciation alone is enough to sink leasing deals, which is how such cars are “sold.”

    I think the Hyundai/Kia people are smoking way too much Korean ganja. They should maximize earnings on their mass market appliances….that is where they have proven they can succeed. The near-luxury niche is littered with the failures of Infiniti, Acura, Oldsmobile……even Cadillac. I guess they are willing to burn through few tons of cash to gratify their egos…..

    • 0 avatar

      Genesis will be fine, esp. once their CUVs hit the lots.

      In fact, Genesis has a better return on ROI than Lexus does for its RWD models (which is why T/L has been so slow in upgrading/updating its RWD models).

      In Korea, alone, the G90 outsells what the LS 500 does worldwide by a 2:1 margin.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I am not sure domestic sales of G90 are indicative of export performance. With regard to CUVs, its a pretty crowded field. What can Genesis profitably offer that is not already available?

        • 0 avatar

          How about steep depreciation and low cost of maintenance and repair?

        • 0 avatar

          My point about domestic sales is that it ensures H/G continuing to invest in their products as there is a certain guarantee of ROI.

          Ever wonder why T/L let the previous gen LS drag out for so long and why H/G beat them to the punch for a TTV6 (as well as having the more powerful V8)?

          It’s going to be even worse for the current LS 500 as it doesn’t even break 1k in sales btwn the US and Japan (it’s 2 largest markets aside from China – where it isn’t exactly a big seller there either).

          That’s also why we probably are seeing the last days of the GS.

          As for CUVs, it’s not really crowded when it comes to luxury RWD CUVs (basically, only MB and BMW being the volume players).

          You don’t think there will be buyers who will want lux RWD CUVs priced below that of the Germans, instead of opting for a FWD model sharing platforms w/ Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, etc.?

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, I’d say Genesis has a fair chance at success in the near-luxury market, assuming they can get some product out there. Why? Because near-luxury buyers are value-oriented. That’s why Olds, Buick and Mercury succeeded for as long as they did – they provided 70% of the “full luxury” experience of something like a Caddy or Lincoln, and did it at a far lower price.

      Lexus did the same thing, but instead of selling cheaper Caddys, it sold cheaper Benzes. When Infiniti and Acura were successful, they used a variation on the same strategy. In fact, I’d say those brands lost their way by moving *upmarket* – they started selling more expensive knockoff BMWs that weren’t as prestigious as BMWs.

      Long term, if Genesis could get its’ product (and, more importantly, dealer) act together, their main victims would be Lincoln and Cadillac. They’d probably also put the final nails in Acura’s coffin.

      But they HAVE to get the dealer situation under control. I’ve been watching Autotrader to see when the G70 started hitting lots here in Denver, and it hasn’t, despite being available in places like Albuquerque. The reason is that apparently this car has to be sold at a dedicated Genesis dealer, and there aren’t any here in Denver. Ponder that for a second – a major metro area they can’t sell their cars in. And apparently this isn’t the only big city with this going on – I did a search and found no dealers in any number of major population centers. That dog ain’t gonna hunt, you know?

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        We shall see.

        I did a double-take last week when I was driving down on Thousand Oaks Blvd…here in Thousand Oaks CA. We have a VERY large AutoMall. It is home to USA’s first AMG-only store, a very high volume Audi and Porsche dealer group….and we have O’Gara Coach–a Bentley/Rolls store, that also dabbles in Supercars and Hypercars. A Maserati and Alfa Romeo house shares the same property.

        Shock of shocks….last week a “Genesis” banner was stretched across the Alfa/Maser storefront. Imagine…a one-stop shop including Rolls, Bentley, Alfa,. Maserati, used exotics and…wait for it…GENESIS!!!!

        I believe this silliness is illustrative of overall Genesis effort.

        • 0 avatar

          Alfa and Maser are nowhere close to RR and Bentley or any exotics. Genesis is more likely companion for ARM though.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah, O’gara is the new Genesis dealer in TO. Got the email a few days ago.

          I agree with you… it’s an odd choice.

          That new Jag dealer that just got built looks really swanky.

          Worst looking dealer – Porsche. It looks like they put a shed with shingles in the middle of a BHPH lot.

          • 0 avatar
            R Henry

            The Porsche house was Westoaks Plymouth not too many years ago…the “upgrade” consisted mostly of new paint.

  • avatar

    Pretty much inevitable w/ the 3.5TT V6 (400 plus HP) will replace the 3.3TT and makes the Tau V8 redundant.

    The Tau block is a “closed” design so not easily adapted to adding turbo chargers and H/G would have to go w/ a new V8 architecture.

    But investing in such doesn’t make sense as the future is increasingly electrification.

    The 3.5TT partnered w/ an electric motor or 2 (500+ HP) would outperform a smaller displacement FI V8.

    Down the road, should be a straight BEV or an FCEV powertrain variant due to the recent tie-up w/ Rimac.

  • avatar

    H/Ks 8 was a halfarse engine from the beginning ridiculously heavy and down on power. But at least it gave the brand prestige that set it apart from the staid competition.
    Now they’re just an Infiniti, and it took me 3-4 minutes just to remember what Nissans premium division was called.

    V8 is very serious if they intend to be serious about this division, the people that choose the V6 are the same people comparing the G70 to the CLA.

    • 0 avatar

      The Tau V8 made Ward’s Auto Top 10 engine list several times and it wasn’t underpowered compared to other NA V8’s of the time, like for Toyota/Lexus.

      4.6 Tau – 385 HP

      4.6 – 375 HP (LS 460)

      The Tau then got a boost in power via an increase in displacement to 5.0L (429 HP).

      Financially not worth it for H/G to invest in a smaller displacement FI V8 as 6 cyl boosted w/ electric power is the future (along w/ straight out BEV and FCEV).

  • avatar

    Why can’t either GM or Ford produce something as good as the Genesis? Oh wait, Bara cancelled the CT6-v.

    What a disgrace!

  • avatar

    2x owner I had a 2009 genesis 4.6 and now a 2017 G80 5.0. The v8 is quiet and smooth. The v6 is loud and harsh. I will have to look else where for my next sedan. A shame as I really liked what they did to deliver a very nice commuter car, I don’t need an amg or V class from caddy. Just a nice smooth v8 in a roomy sedan. Someone needs to build v8 sedans for people that don’t need a race car suspension

  • avatar

    “Why can’t either GM or Ford produce something as good as the Genesis? Oh wait, Bara cancelled the CTS-V.”

    Because neither Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors nor HACKett led Ford have the technical ability or willingness (play long game, circa-1990 Lexus style) to do so.

    Hyundai has passed both Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors and Ford in terms of technical, engineering expertise.

    As an American, that makes me profoundly sad.

    It should be positively head-slung-low embarrassing to Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (treasonous, seditious company and government subsidized entity) and Ford.

    p.s. – The CT-6,in any version, is a giant pile of sh!t, grossly overpriced.Buyers of it, as few as they are, prove the adage to never underestimate the stupidity of the American Consumer.

    • 0 avatar

      The CTS-V is basically being replaced by the CT6-V, as the CT6 replaces the CTS in the midsize segment for Cadillac.

      The true CT6-V was canceled (these decisions are more made by Mark Reuss than Barra) and the CT6-V moniker replaced that of what was to be known as the CT6 V-Sport.

      The reason why GM/Cadillac can’t ever get its interior right (something that Lincoln seems to finally have sorted out) is Mark Reuss and the penny pinchers at RenCen.

    • 0 avatar

      DW is right regarding pricing for the CT6. It’s ridiculously overpriced for what you’re getting and even used their values are still way too high to consider a decent deal.

      • 0 avatar

        Not disagreeing w/ the pricing (not only w/ Cadillac, but other GM brands, like GMC, in particular, the Denali line).

        But the same can be said for Lincoln as well (pricing for the upper trims of the Continental).

  • avatar

    There is a mpg difference of 1 for city and 1 for highway between the 3.3 turbo motor and the V8.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Dead Weight–Hyundai and Kia are both the underdogs and both actually care and want to be taken serious. GM is on a cost cutting spree and cares little about what they make. My opinion is GM management is less interested in maintaining GM as a viable company and more interested in selling it off to the Chinese and getting their golden parachutes. I don’t like to think that will happen but I believe that is what is actually happening. This pains me having owned many GM vehicles myself and my parents and grandparents owning them as well. Ford seems to be headed in this direction as well. The best advice is to buy the best vehicle that suits your needs regardless of brand and origin.

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