Every two years, Paris is for automobile lovers

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Every two years, Paris is for automobile lovers

As the oldest auto exhibition in the world dating to 1898, the Paris Motor Show, or Mondial de l’Automobile, is one of the biggest events for car aficionados. The biennial event also is one of the world’s largest motor shows, drawing more than 1.23 million visitors in 2012.

Organizers expect 270 brands from 21 countries at the 2014 edition, with about 100 new models and concept cars being shown for the first time. The show runs from Oct. 4 to 19 at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center.

For Korean automakers, it is an event that can’t be missed. They are set to unveil more competitive and appealing models to European customers and showcase cars equipped with environmentally friendly technology.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest automaker, is set to introduce 22 models at its 2,005-square-meter (21,581-square-foot) display zone.

The company has high hopes for its new i20 mini-car, manufactured in Turkey. The second-generation i20 was introduced in India last month as the i20 Elite, but the European version will add a panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps and a rear-facing camera.

Along with the i20, the automaker will display environmentally friendly cars such as the i30 compressed natural gas car, the i40 hybrid, the Intrado fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and the Tucson ix FCEV.

Hyundai Motor also will showcase its second-generation Genesis sedan, as well as the Veloster turbo and i20 World Rally Championship car.

Kia Motors, Hyundai’s smaller affiliate, will occupy 2,581 square meters of space and display 23 models, including the European debut of the third-generation Sorento. The midsize sport utility vehicle was introduced last month in Korea and generated more than 13,000 preorders in just 20 days.

Korea’s second-largest automaker plans to release the Sorento early next year in Europe. At the motor show, the company is expected to display a Sorento with a 2.4-liter direct-injection gasoline engine.

In addition to the Sorento, Kia will display the face-lift edition of its Rio subcompact and Venga multipurpose vehicle. Both models are scheduled to go on sale in Europe early next year.

The Rio sports a revised grille and wheels, an updated interior and an infotainment system.

The Venga has a larger “tiger-nose” grille, LED daytime running lights, restyled LED taillights and 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Kia’s environmentally friendly lineup includes the Optima T-Hybrid concept car, which could be released in the near future. The car’s hybrid system reportedly uses an electric motor and a 1.7-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine.

Ssangyong Motor, owned by India’s Mahindra, has set up a 530-square-meter wide booth where it will display seven models.

The highlight will be the XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure concept crossovers that will be unveiled for the first time. These two concepts represent the final version of the SUV-specialized carmaker’s exciting user-interface vehicle (XIV) series that it has been showcasing for the past three years at motor shows.

The automaker said these two models offer a glimpse of the X100 that will be released in the market early next year. The X100 is expected to be smaller than the Korando C compact SUV and is equipped with a 1.6-liter engine.

In addition to the two concepts, Ssangyong will display its popular Korando C, Korando Turismo and Rexton W.

Meanwhile, GM Korea and Renault Samsung Motors will be represented at the Paris Motor Show by their parent companies - General Motors and Renault.


BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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