SEOUL - Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled three concept vehicles and a mildly facelifted Accent at the Seoul show.
The updated Accent arrives in Europe in May. Hyundai's lower-medium class model debuted in Korea in September 1994.
The HMX concept car closely foreshadows the MX mini that will debut in South Korea in September.
Hyundai also showed the SLV, or Super Luxury Vehicle. The luxury limousine has a fiber-reinforced polymer body. The SLV is 5639mm long and its styling cues are borrowed from 1970s Oldsmobiles.
Although the SLV is unlikely to go into production, it does reflect Hyundai's ideas about future luxury cars.
The third show car was an aluminum-bodied version of the Tiburon coupe, which is already on sale in Europe. The company said there are no plans to switch to aluminum for the production version.
In Europe, the five-door, five-seat MX will be launched at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Two versions will be built. One will have a roof 60mm higher than the other.
Hyundai views the MX as a competitor to Daewoo's planned Tico-replacement, the M-100, and the Daihatsu Move.
The company plans to build 300,000 MXs a year. Exports begin in spring 1998. Later, Hyundai will build the MX in India.
The MX will be powered by Hyundai's third-generation engine, the Epsilon. The South Korean market will get a 0.8-liter, four-cylinder, 12-valve unit. Export models will have a 1.0-liter engine that develops 59ps.
There will be a choice of five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmissions, optional dual airbags and antilock brakes.
The MX is 3495mm long, 1495mm wide and 1650mm high. The wheelbase is 2380mm.
Hyundai also invited the press to test drive the H1 minivan, launched at the Geneva show in March. The H1, derived from the H100 commercial vehicle, will be launched in Europe later this year.
Passenger-car versions will be offered in seven- and nine-seat configurations. Long- and short-wheelbase versions will be available: 2810mm and 3080mm, giving an overall length of 4695mm and 5035mm, respectively.
The short version will have a four-wheel-drive option.
Hyundai plans to build 200,000 H1 passenger versions annually at its plant in Ulsan, South Korea. It will export 130,000.
The H1 cost $390 million to develop: $170 million for r&d; $52 million on retooling; and $160 million to develop the new 2.8-liter, direct-injection turbodiesel engine.
Hyundai built 1,310,544 vehicles worldwide in 1996. It plans to make 1.5 million this year and 2.4 million by 2000.
By then, 500,000 units a year will be built outside South Korea, up from 155,000 last year.