Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, launched the sale of its all-new Avante subcompact on Wednesday, aiming to appeal to global customers with upgraded safety, better fuel efficiency and driving performance.
The latest edition of the Avante is the sixth generation of Hyundai Motor's popular subcompact which debuted in 1990. The last edition of the car rolled out five years ago.
Since its first generation was launched, cumulative sales at home and abroad topped 10 million units in October last year, the first feat of its kind for a single vehicle model in South Korea.
Last year alone, a total of 930,000 units were sold globally making it the third largest selling car in the world.
"The new Avante, in which we poured all of our capacity, is expected to provide an innovative experience and value to global customers while helping solidify our growth base anew amid unfavorable business conditions at home and abroad," Yang Woong-cheol, vice chairman in charge of R&D for Hyundai Motor Group, told reporters during an event held in Hwaseong, where its research center is located.
Hyundai Motor aims to sell 50,000 units of the new Avante in the domestic market this year. From next year, it will push to sell a total of 700,000 units with the target to export 590,000 cars overseas.
Boasting a sturdy external design with its traditional hexagonal grille and an emphasized sleek image from the side, the new Avante is "dynamic" and offers "dignity" in its overall design, the company said.
It comes in four engine types, including the diesel U2 1.6 VGT, and the gasoline Gamma 1.6 GDi, all of which meet the toughened Euro 6 emissions standards, it added.
The 1.6 diesel model equipped with the seven-speed dual clutch transmission can produce up to 136 horsepower with a maximum torque of 30.6 kilogram-meters, which are 6.3 percent and 7.4 percent better than the previous edition.
Hyundai Motor said that it has improved its fuel efficiency from 16.2 kmpl to 18.4 kmpl, which it claims is the best efficiency among locally produced subcompact models.
The flagship 1.6 gasoline model can produce up to 132 horsepower and 16.4 kilogram-meters torque, but its fuel efficiency stands at 13.7 kmpl, down from the previous version's 14 kmpl.
The new Avante is 4,570mm long and 1,800mm wide, stands at 1,440mm, which are 20mm and 25mm and 5mm larger than the previous model, respectively. Its wheel base remains unchanged at 2,700mm.
Hyundai Motor said that it has increased the ratio of ultra high strength steel used in its body from 21 percent to 53 percent, making it lighter and stronger than the proceeding model.
Seven airbags were installed inside with the advanced airbag available in the front seat designed for better protection of children.
Also available are diverse safety and convenience features, including the autonomous emergency braking system, forward collision and lane departure warning systems and blind spot detection function.
Hyundai Motor said that it will unveil the new Avante in overseas markets starting with the U.S. in November.
Preorders for the latest model have reached more than 5,000 units since Aug. 26. Demand for the diesel version seems to be quite strong, a company official said.
Prices of the new Avante range from 15.31 million won ($12,822) to 23.71 million won depending on engine types and options, the company said. (Yonhap)