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Hyundai, Kia sparkle at Paris Motor Show

At 120-year old auto fair, 38 models debut on global markets

Oct 03,2018
Clockwise from top: Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor’s high-performance division, poses with the new i30 Fastback N at the Paris Motor Show on Tuesday. Gregory Guillaume, chief designer of the Kia Design Center Europe, left, and Emilio Herrera, Kia Motors Europe chief operating officer, pose with the new Proceed. Renault Group world premiered the last EZ series, the EZ-Ultimo, a self-driving electric concept, at the press event. [HYUNDAI MOTOR, KIA MOTORS, JIN EUN-SOO]
PARIS - Traditional motor shows are losing some steam as cars increasingly become important parts of tech trade shows.

But the Paris Motor Show, one of the oldest and largest motor shows, is bursting with new cars from major global brands.

The Paris Motor Show is a biannual auto show that alternated with the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Celebrating its 120th year, the Paris show is staying down to earth this year and is focusing on cars ready for mass production rather than fancy concept cars or self-driving vehicles of the distant future.

Some 200 automakers and parts makers are participating. The show runs for 10 days from Thursday at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

The show is introducing 38 models to the global market and 19 to the European market.

Global carmakers are taking advantage of the strategic location of the show to appeal to potential European customers.

Kia Motors, Korea’s No. 2 auto brand, premiered a new ProCeed on the global market, a hatchback that Kia launched strategically for the European market previously. The original three-door model has grown into a five-door wagon version.

The vehicle has also gotten sportier compared to its previous version.

“[The new ProCeed] is the first shooting brake model in the mainstream segment,” said Emilio Herrera, Kia Motors’ chief operation officer, at a media event Tuesday. “Beneath its swept-back new design, it provides owners with uncompromised versatility. … It offers so much cargo space.”

The ProCeed is part of Kia Motors’ strategic European C’eed lineup, which launched back in 2006. It has sold an accumulated 1.3 million units, according to the carmaker.

Kia Motors also showed a Ceed GT, a high-performance model within the Ceed family, with distinctive design features such as a D-cut steering wheel and aluminum-covered pedal.

The new Proceed and the Ceed GT will launch in the European market in the first quarter of 2019.

Without a separate press conference, Hyundai Motor revealed the i30 Fastback N, a third model in its high-performance N series. The new i30 Fastback N is based on the five-door i30 Fastback model that launched last year.

The car, which comes with a 2.0 petrol turbo engine, will generate a maximum of horsepower 275 and maximum torque of 36.0 kilogram-force-meter.

Hyundai Motor plans to launch the i30 Fastback N in Europe by the end of this year. It doesn’t have any official plan to launch the model in other markets.

Eco-friendly models were emphasized at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

Hyundai Motor set up a Clean Mobility Zone in its booth to display its eco-friendly lineup, including the hydrogen-powered Nexo and a fully electric version of its Kona small SUV.

Kia Motors premiered its pure electric Niro SUV in the European market. The car, which is able to drive 312 kilometers (194 miles) on a single charge, will launch in Europe by the end of this year. It will join hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Niro already available in the local market.

Audi brought its first fully electric SUV E-Tron to the show. It is the model’s first appearance in an auto show after it was introduced to the world last month in San Francisco.

Mercedes-Benz also showed the first purely electric EQC SUV under its eco-friendly label EQ, which world-premiered last month in Sweden. It also displayed a Vision EQ Silver Arrow, an electric concept car inspired by the brand’s classic W125 racing car. Apparently, the two electric SUVs are meant to compete with Tesla’s Model X. The American electric car brand is also participating in the show.

In addition to the EQC, Mercedes is also premiering threw new models: the new GLE, B-Class and the new AMG A 35 4MATIC.

Toyota showed its confidence in hybrid car technology, opting to exclusively display its hybrid lineup ranging from Camry, Corolla and Rav4.

French brand Renault made major unveils including a world premiere of concept autonomous electric car EZ-Ultimo, the last edition in the EZ lineup, following a delivery robot concept EZ-Pro and shared mobility concept EZ-Go.

It also unveiled facelifted versions of its compact Kadjar SUV.

It also took the wraps off the brand new label K-ZE, a cost-effective electric SUV based on the Kwid model.

“As consumer trends change and people are enjoying ride-hailing services more and more, a new paradigm for mobility will emerge,” said Laurens van den Acker, SVP of corporate design at Renault. “Renault EZ-ULTIMO offers a unique luxurious experience aboard a robo-vehicle that can be adapted depending on the service provider.”


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]


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