Busan Bustle

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It comes as no surprise that the 2018 Busan International Motor Show is primarily dominated by Korean manufacturers. And we found it particularly relevant this year to understand what Kia and Hyundai has been up to, giving the increasing presence of these brands on local tarmac.

The event was held from the 8th to 17th of June at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO). This year featured 3,076 Booths, 183 companies and nine countries showcasing passenger cars, commercial cars, specially equipped vehicles and automobile parts. This was rather interesting because unlike other events that focused only on one exhibition, there was a couple of concurrent events being held at the same period, namely the Automotive Manufacturing Expo Korea 2018, Personal Mobility Show 2018, Automobile-related symposiums and seminars, Place for test driving future automobiles, Aftermarket Exhibition and Automobile Art Collaboration Fair Etc.

The theme for the 2018 Busan International Motor Show was “Beyond Innovation, Into the Future,” under which Kia Motors exhibited its cars in BEXCO’s first exhibition hall. The massive hall features no less than 22 Kia vehicles, including the Niro EV, SP Concept and Stinger GT Wide Body. Kia’s exhibition also includes the K9 Lounge – a display of the company’s merchandise and brand collection, a membership zone and an area celebrating Kia’s global involvement with sports, including football and tennis. But we reckon that the highlight for Kia will be its all-new Niro EV, a crossover utility with a range of 450 kilometres.

Kia’s star of the Busan show, the Niro EV occupies a unique position in the market as an all-electric compact crossover. Intelligent packaging, high levels of practicality, and a long-distance driving range mean the Niro EV offers fewer compromises than other electric vehicles. Buyers will also benefit from a range of EV-exclusive in-car technologies, new safety features, and a stand-out exterior and interior design.

In addition to the Niro EV, Kia Motors also unveiled two other vehicles, the Kia SP Concept – first unveiled at the 2018 AutoExpo in India, and the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body following its introduction at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas in the USA.

Hyundai Motor were not present merely to make up the numbers. It took the opportunity to elaborate on its design philosophy, by providing a more detailed blueprint for ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ by unveiling the HDC-2 ‘Grandmaster’ SUV concept. It also presented a new N Brand Global Strategy with line-up expansion. Having first introduced the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ direction with the HDC-1 ‘Le Fil Rouge’ concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Hyundai further explored the philosophy with its latest SUV concept vehicle, the HDC-2 Grandmaster concept. Hyundai also introduced the Veloster N – laying out the blueprint for its High Performance N Brand. It will further diversify its N Brand Product Portfolio including High Performance N models, N Line Vehicles with new design and performance enhancing elements and N Option and customisation parts by N.

Exemplifying the theme of ‘Future Mobility Life’, Hyundai divided its booth into five distinct spaces – Garage N, Hyundai Veloster Street, Design Gallery, Hydrogen Electricity House and the Life Square – all of which aim to highlight Hyundai’s design philosophy and mobility life, as well as to provide valued customer experiences.

First introduced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2018, the Veloster N is Hyundai’s second N model, following the ‘i30 N’ launched in Europe last year, and the first model to be showcased to Korean customers. As part of Hyundai’s High Performance N Business, the Veloster N offers differentiated exterior and interior designs, focusing on fun-to-drive characteristics and providing the best driving performance to drivers, as well as passengers. Equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged high performance engine and 6-speed manual transmission, Veloster N boasts maximum power output of 275hp and torque output of 353Nm.

Hyundai also showcased the first SUV concept featuring the “Hyundai Look” – a demonstration of evolving Hyundai design philosophy. Debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Le Fil Rouge concept car highlights Hyundai’s evolved design direction under the theme of ‘Sensuous Sportiness’. Following the concept, the HDC-2 Grandmaster model reinterprets Hyundai’s design DNA, and is designed through “harmonisation” of four key elements – proportion, architecture, styling and technology, which will be applied to Hyundai’s upcoming sedan and SUV models.

Perhaps more relevant for Singapore’s market will be the Tucson – the redesigned 2019 Tucson looks even bolder with its cascading grille and new headlight/DRL design. An 8-speed automatic transmission and HTRAC all-wheel drive system are the other mechanical highlights for this new-gen Tucson. We are looking forward to an even greater “showing” for Korean-made cars in Singapore, and given how advanced they have become over the years, consumers will clearly benefit from their research!

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