BUSAN ― Hyundai Motor on Thursday once again highlighted its aspirations to go premium by unveiling a pair of new high-end sedans that appeared to be aimed at winning over customers from its German rivals such as BMW Mercedes-Benz ― two of the world’s most premium carmakers.
At the Busan International Motor Show that opened Thursday, the nation’s largest carmaker held the world premiere of its new large sedan that goes by the project name “AG.”
Strategically placed between its top-selling Grandeur and Genesis sedans, the new car, priced within the 40 million won ($39,000) range, has the same platform as the Grandeur but boasts a greater engine capacity.
|Hyundai Motor’s new AG luxury sedan (left) and diesel-powered Grandeur. (Hyundai Motor)|
The official launch of the AG is expected to come later this year.
“The AG is a strategic model to compete head-on with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class here,” said Kim Sang-dae, Hyundai’s marketing director, adding the carmaker had no immediate plan to launch the new car into the global market.
“The midsize car market is soaring. We plan to offer more segmented lineups to have customers stay with us.”
The first diesel-powered version of the Grandeur (Azera in overseas), another key unveiling for Hyundai, also comes as part of the carmaker’s upscale push.
With more than half the sales of German premium brands being diesel models, the Korean carmaker touted the Grandeur Diesel as “a new option for drivers seeking more comfortable and elegant driving performance.”
The Grandeur Diesel features a modified version of the 2.2-liter 202-horsepower diesel engine used in the midsize SUV Santa Fe. It churns out a maximum torque of 45 kilogram-meters, about 50 percent improvement from the gasoline-powered model.
Hyundai displays 22 passenger cars three commercial vehicles during the Busan fair that runs through June 8. Its affiliate Kia Motors features 27 models, including the All-New Carnival mini van and the GT 4 Stinger, a concept sports car.
By Lee Ji-yoon, Korea Herald correspondent