The Genesis luxury brand continues to come into its own. Born from a midsize sedan initially marketed under its parent company’s banner—the 2008 Hyundai Genesis—the brand branched out on its own in 2016, initially with the G80 (a carryover second-generation Hyundai Genesis) and then the G90, which replaced the Hyundai Equus full-size luxury car. Since then, the G70 sport sedan appeared, as did two SUVs, the GV80 and the smaller GV70, which just won
‘s 2022 SUV of the Year award—while the G90 made do with a mild visual update for 2020. Now, for 2023, it’s getting a whole redesign. A big one.
So far all we really have are images of the new G90 that were released in Korea. The U.S.-market model should look almost exactly the same—and that’s a very good thing. Whereas the current G90 wears a sort of adapted take on Genesis’s latest design language over the pre-2020 G90’s boxy form, this new version fully commits to the twin-slat headlights, five-sided shield-shaped grille, intricate wheel sculpting, and gently arcing body creases that debuted on the GV80 and GV70 SUVs and the latest G80 sedan.
the new G90
leapfrogs its stablemates in taking Genesis’ style vision to its nadir. The cat-eye-like headlights wrap around nearly the entire front end, broken up by the wheel wells and picking up on the front fenders before terminating at the leading edge of the front door. There is no missing that grille, either, but we’d need to see it in real life to gauge whether it’s glam or gauche. The wheels—at least those pictured here—are deliciously technical in appearance, with an angular spoke design that seems to complement the mesh filling the grille and full-width lower intake.
Most surprising? How achingly elegant the rest of the 2023 G90 is. Sure, we want to peep that grille in person, but in photos it’s nearly overshadowed by the clean surfaces, subtle curves, and uncommonly restrained detailing all over the body. The front fenders flow rearward and form a strong shoulder midway through the rear doors, the surface turning upward to give the rear fenders visual muscle. The tail is defined by a few crisp horizontal elements, including a full-width thin taillight section, a secondary light strip below that, and a lower section that picks up a dark trim strip that runs along the bodysides to break up the G90’s visual height.
There’s just enough “there” there without tipping toward the generic appearance of previous Genesis efforts. Maybe it’s that more Genesis models have been introduced and therefore are becoming recognizably “Genesis,” but there’s no denying that the G90 will no longer trade solely on its sheer size to imply its luxury leanings. This is a distinctive and eye-catching piece, even in short-wheelbase form (the silvery-white car pictured here); Genesis also will sell a long-wheelbase model (with a 7.5-inch-longer wheelbase and, we assume, commensurately more rear seat room) just like the Germans do with their full-size limos. That longer version is pictured above in purple.
Genesis isn’t sharing powertrain information or even images of the G90’s interior quite yet. While we wait for all that, we can tell you that the sedan has a few clever features. Those twin-slat headlights are super thin thanks to “Micro Lens Array” (or MLA) tech that meshes the lenses of the daytime running lamps with the low-beam lighting so, we assume, one light source can do what two normally are needed for. Oh, and the ends of those headlights—the parts that stretch onto the fenders behind each front wheel—serve a hidden purpose: Hiding the cutline for the hood. Hence why you can’t see any shut lines for that big, curvy, clamshell-style engine cover.
Look for more details to drop when the G90 makes its full debut in Korea sometime soon. In the meantime, well, just look at the G90.
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