Renault Samsung Motors on Thursday unveiled the first diesel-powered version of its best-selling sedan the SM5, pledging to renew competition in the soaring diesel car market currently dominated by German brands.
The Korean unit of the France-based Renault Group called the new SM5 D a “game changer” that can challenge the existing diesel cars in the market, saying that the vehicle embodies the carmaker’s latest efforts to reduce engine size and price, and improve fuel economy.
“More than 60 percent of foreign-brand cars sold here are diesel models. Korean carmakers have been ignored by consumers as they failed to roll out a competitive diesel sedan,” said Park Dong-hoon, sales chief of Renault Samsung.
|Models pose with the SM5 D. (Renault Samsung Motors)|
“Engine downsizing is all the rage among global carmakers. Renault Samsung will prove its specialty in the field with the latest SM5 D sedan.”
In reflection of Korean drivers’ growing preference for diesel cars, more than 1,500 units of the SM5 D had been sold just 10 days after it started preorders on June 23, according to the carmaker.
The key to the SM5 D is the combination of Renault’s 1.5 dCi diesel engine and Getrag’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which allows a fuel economy of 16.5 kilometers per liter.
The downsized engine, which features better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, is also supplied to 11 million vehicles of 26 models of global carmakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Renault, the company said.
The SM5 D has two trims, priced at 25.8 million won ($25,500) and 26.95 million won. Both models have 110 horsepower and a maximum torque of 24.5 kilogram per meter.
The carmaker has now completed the lineup of its flagship family sedan ― the gasoline-powered SM5 Platinum, the turbocharged SM5 TCE and the latest diesel model SM5 D. The company predicted some 25 percent of new SM5 buyers will choose the diesel version.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)