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SUVs, diesels and celebrities add shine to Busan

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Published : 2014-06-01 20:34
Updated : 2014-06-01 20:34

Audi Korea managing director Johannes Thammer presents the New Audi A8 and A3 Sportback e-tron. (Audi Korea)
Male celebrities strutted in expensive, well-tailored suits while so-called “racing models” ― mostly women ― struck glamorous poses to brighten the showrooms of the Busan International Motor Show 2014 that has been visited by more than 170,000 people.

But truth be told, it was the cars that highlighted the biennial event.

This year, it was all about the outdoors and diesels, with carmakers rushing to display sport utility vehicles and new diesel engines. On the sidelines, concept cars with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge designs dazzled car buffs who traveled to Busan for a glimpse of their favorite models.

Mercedes-Benz Korea featured the New GLA Class, while Lexus showcased its the hybrid vehicle NX 300h. Lincoln unveiled its very first compact SUV, the “All new MKC.”

SUV was the buzzword for Renault Samsung Motors and Volkswagen, with each introducing concept cars in this segment ― the Initiale Paris from Renault and the CrossBlue from the German carmaker. 
Volkswagen Korea president Thomas Kuehl introduces the Golf GTI and GTD. (Volkswagen Korea)

Initiale Paris boasted a glitzy design that came complete with an aluminum and plexiglass roof depicting a map of Paris, while CrossBlue is a six-seat SUV that has inherited all of Volkswagen’s design DNA.

High-end automakers, meanwhile, were eager to unveil diesels that are both efficient and elegant.

Italian super car brand Maserati’s Quattroporte and Ghibli were such, running on 3-liter and 6-liter diesel turbo engines, respectively. Nissan Korea introduced its compact diesel SUV Qashquai, which has sold more than 2 million units since 2007. Volkswagen Golf GTD drew attention with its high fuel efficiency, while from home, Hyundai flaunted its Grandeur Diesel model with a fuel efficiency of 14 kilometer per liter for a 2.2 liter-engine.

The racing models who used to attract male motorists in skimpy outfits, seemed to have toned down their act in more modest dresses that were designed to pay respect to the Sewol ferry victims and their families as the search for the dead is still in progress. Many of the CEOs and representatives of the carmakers wore yellow ribbons on their lapels. 
Actor Jo In-sung models for Mercedes-Benz at the Busan Motor Show. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Super Junior member Si-won demonstrates charging Audi’s concept electronic vehicle e-tron. (Audi Korea)
Actor Lee Seo-jin (right) and a model pose for Infiniti Q50 Hybrid. (Infiniti)

Representing motor enthusiasts, some of the hottest celebrities of the moment visited Busan to model for the cars. Actor Cha Seung-won showed up for Maserati, while Ha Jung-woo posed for Audi and Jo In-sung for Mercedes-Benz.

Actor So Ji-sub talked about his driving experience in the Golf GTD while Lee Seo-jin showed off his signature dimples posing for Infiniti models. Super Junior member Si-won demonstrated how to charge Audi’s concept electric vehicle e-tron while rapper Kim Jin-pyo who hosts “Top Gear Korea,” promoted Jaguar Land Rover Korea.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

NISSAN QASHQAI - The diesel-powered Nissan Qashqai made its Asian debut at the Busan Motor Show that kicked off Thursday.
LINCOLN MKC - The Lincoln MKC, Lincoln’s first entry in the red-hot market for upscale compact crossover, will hit the Korean market later this year.
MASERATI GRANTOURISMO
JAGUAR F-TYPE COUPE - The Jaguar F-Type Coupe offers better performance than the previous convertible version thanks to a stiffer aluminum structure.
RANGE ROVER LONG WHEELBASE - The Land Rover Range Rover Long Wheelbase comes with a roomier back seat and executive-class accommodations.
BMW M3 - The BMW M3, a highperformance model of the regular 3 Series, has been refashioned to replace its predecessor 2008 model.
MASERATI GHIBLI DIESEL - The Maserati Ghibli Diesel is the first diesel-powered sports car by the Italian carmaker with a fuel economy of 16.6 kilometers per liter in Europe.

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