Koreans power up at Frankfurt


By Jim Robinson

A new focus on performance plus several new models highlighted the Korean presence at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

Hyundai introduced its new N sub-brand along with its 2016 New Generation i20 world rally car with the aim of building on its motor sports experience.

“We are adding the emotional characteristics of performance and driving pleasure with Hyundai N,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, V-P of marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe.

In addition to the new rally car, the Vision G Coupe concept car on the Hyundai stand is the first high performance coupe and powered by a 5.0-litre V8 with 420 hp and 383 lb/ft of torque.

It is also demonstrates new technology including a central control panel with Remote Wheel and curved display.

The Remote Wheel is an ergonomically designed semi-sphere haptic touchpad installed in the centre console designed to intuitive touch and gesture interaction and responds to a simple wave of the hand, minimizing driver distraction.

Vision G’s curved display on its centre fascia provides information rich in detail. By removing all physical buttons, Vision G presents a simple and intuitive overall cabin ambience.

In addition to the introduction of the new Optima on the Kia stand, the brand also unveiled with Optima GT, seen as its first high performance mid-size sedan.

Initially aimed at European consumers, we may see it in Canada at some point

Offering a higher output version of the current 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo inline four-cylinder engine, the Optima GT will come with a new electronically controlled suspension system that provides individual damping to each wheel as well as larger brakes.

The 2016 Optima sedan was shown in Europe for the first time and builds on the current model.

Previewed on the eve of the shown, the 2016 Sportage compact CUV had its world-wide reveal in Frankfurt and also builds on the current model with new exterior styling and a vastly changed interior with a double layer instrument panel design.

Kia also announced there will be a GT Line version on the new Sportage.