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Korean carmakers to unveil hatchbacks, electric cars for Paris show

South Korean carmakers are seeking market expansion in Europe through the upcoming Paris Motor Show, unveiling an array of new cars and concept vehicles targeting consumers sensitive to environment issues and fuel efficiency.

The nation’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor is set to bring both the new hatchback i30 and Ioniq lines of energy-efficient cars to the show.

But the company remains undecided on its main concept for the show, an official said, adding that Hyundai is still contemplating whether to put the high-performing hatchback at the forefront or the zero-emissions compact cars.

The progress of the development of electric cars is widely expected to dominate the show that kicks off Oct. 2 for a two-week run.

But Hyundai is highly likely to choose the i30 and take the hatchback’s brand as a high-performance vehicle for its main concept for the show, the official said. 

Hyundai’s i30 is a base model for its high-performance N Brand created to compete with its global rival. It also has spent a lot on the hatchback developed mainly for the European market, he added.


All new i30 (Hyundai Motor)
All new i30 (Hyundai Motor)

The new hatchback is a newer version of the old i30 unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. 

It comes with a 1.4 liter and 1.6 liter turbocharged engine, all equipped with a dual clutch transmission and a high performance brake disc. 

Its design and performance have been upgraded, led by the carmaker’s Nuerburgring test center in Nuerburg, Germany and its design center in Russelsheim, Germany to capture European motorists who have been loyal to hatchbacks for their larger loading area and fuel efficiency.


Kia’s next-generation Rio (Kia Motors)
Kia’s next-generation Rio (Kia Motors)

Its sister company Kia Motors is also set to unveil its next-generation compact car Rio in Paris. 

The carmaker will be presenting the all-new, fourth-generation Rio, known as Pride in South Korea, for first time in five years for the global audience. 

Dynamic both in design and performance, the 1 liter car will have an emergency brake system for enhanced safety and Android Auto as well as Apple’s Car Play for richer entertainment. 

The compact is also a hatchback with a 325 liters of trunk space. The new Rio is expected to be rolled out early next year.


A rendering of Ssangyong‘s concept car LIV-2 (Ssangyong Motor)
A rendering of Ssangyong‘s concept car LIV-2 (Ssangyong Motor)
Prior to the show, Ssangyong Motors also unveiled a rendering of a concept car named LIV-2.

The concept previews a large premium sport utility vehicle, possibly the next-generation Rexton. 

The project is aimed at enhancing Ssangyong’s brand as a premium SUV-maker in Europe, the carmaker’s spokesman said.

Despite the European market sensitive to emissions and fuel efficiency, the South Korean carmaker owned by the Mahindra has seen more than 10 percent in sales growth in the market. 

Europe is crucial for the carmaker as its exports to the region account for 20-30 percent of its global sales, the official added. 

The nation‘s fourth-largest carmaker has not made an entry to the US market. That may take three to four more years, he said.

(christory@heraldcorp.com)
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