Hybrids and high performance mingle in Busan

Hybrids and high performance mingle in Busan

The bi-annual Busan International Motor Show (BIMOS) which opened in Korea last week was a interesting mix of new hybrid and electric vehicles from Asian car makers, mixed with luxury and high performance offerings from Europe and North America.

Kia and Hyundai are losing their majority shareholding in the domestic South Korean market, as witnessed by the number of stands frequented by foreign manufacturers including Audi, Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, Infiniti, Lexus, Maserati, and MINI.

Lexus LF C2

Lexus LF C2

Auto Media Group visited the show while on tour with Hyundai Motor Company, and managed to sample the unique atmosphere, where models on the stands draped themselves alongside the vehicles, some of them smiling grimly for dear life, while local photographers snapped away.

Thankfully the Lexus LF C2 concept convertible didn’t have a human draped all over it, but was surrounded by a clear glass partition to prevent show goers from leaving finger marks on it’s pristine gold paint.

Telluride concept shows possible future Kia direction

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride

Kia’s stand was graced by the Telluride SUV concept, a full-size three-row seven-seat vehicle which used a modified Sorento chassis, and powered by a transversely mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine combined with a electric motor, which have a combined power output of 298kW (400 horsepower).

The exterior is finished in dark myrite paint and features a squared off body riding on 22-inch rims, as well as an enlarged tiger nose grille and multiple LED headlamps. The car’s suicide doors swing open 90 degrees in opposite directions, revealing a pillarless design. Some of the interior components are 3D printed, marking Kia’s first usage of 3D printing technology.

Hybrid heaven

Nissan Murano Hybrid

Nissan Murano Hybrid

Hybrid and electric vehicles are gaining traction in South Korea, as well as offerings from Hyundai and Kia, Lexus, Toyota, and Nissan are all keen to make inroads into this market.

Toyota had a full line up of its Hybrid Synergy Drive models, with the Camry and RAV-4 Hybrids taking pride of place as well as the futuristic looking Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Electric Vehicle.

Nissan Motor Company wasn’t to be outdone, presenting the 2017 model year Murano Hybrid which matches a 186kW supercharged 2.5-litre direct injection inline four-cylinder petrol engine to an electric motor with 15kW, which offers similar performance to the VQ 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine but with much improved fuel efficiency according to international media.

Topless Range Rover meets Jaguar SUV

Evoque Cabriolet

Evoque Cabriolet

Only a few years ago that headline would have been laughed at but Indian owned Jaguar Land Rover seems hell bent on extending the brands reach to new segments of the premium market than ever before.

The Porsche Macan-bashing Jaguar F-Pace SUV which graced the Busan stand looked elegant in Dark Blue. This all-paw Cat signals Jaguars intention to broaden its grip on the South Korean market.

Certainly from our observations while in Seoul and Busan, the Range Rover Vogue and long wheelbase version is extremely popular amongst wealthy South Koreans, so the Evoque cabriolets “look at me” factor will be a hit with some.

Sublime and ridiculous

New Koleos

New Koleos

Bentley and Maserati had opposing stands at the Busan Show, but Bentley stole Maseratis thunder by revealing it’s new Bentayga SUV before the Italian brand pulled the covers off the Levante SUV.

But the SUV theme continued further down the halls with Volkswagen presenting the new Tiguan while across the road, Renault Samsung presented its new QM6 which will be marketed in Europe and also Australia and New Zealand as the new generation Renault Koleos.

Pictures: Robert Barry

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