In the case of the Renault-Samsung alliance, it’s pretty much been a case of new cars being launched in Korea first, before being renamed and translated over to Europe. Which isn’t surprising, given that they’re designed and built at the firm’s Busan, South Korea plant.
The Renault Fluence is one such example. The C-segment sedan premiered in Korea as the Renault Samsung SM3 in April 2009 and as the Fluence seven months later in Europe, removing the need for a Megane sedan on the Continent.
Recently Renault Samsung launched its facelifted SM3 in Korea. It follows that its French sister, set to be attending next month’s Paris show, may very likely receive the same updates. These include a new front bumper, grille assembly and restyled headlamp fixtures. There’s also a new digital instrument panel and an electronic parking brake.
Another new toy is Smart Connect, which allows viewing of photos and videos by connecting a smartphone to the infotainment system.
Five variants are available, priced between 15.4 to 19.8 million won (RM42,300 to RM54,415). They all come with a 1.6 litre Nissan H4Mk Dual CVTC engine producing 117 hp at 6,000 rpm and 157 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The gearbox is an Xtronic CVT with an additional auxiliary gear, which Renault Samsung says is a world first.
A Renault Samsung official told The Korea Herald the company targets sales of 35,000 units per year.