Seoul Motor Show 2011

The Seoul Motor Show is a biennial show that exhibits domestic and foreign automotive design.  Starting back in 1995 it is Korea's biggest and most recognised auto show and is working hard to compete with the top 4 shows around the world: Frankfurt Motor Show, Paris Motor Show, Geneva Motor Show, and Detroit Motor Show.  This year the theme is clearly eco and called "Evolution : Grenn Revolution on Wheels".  In a clear move to establish themselves as leaders in environmentally driven car design and technology Korea's top car manufacturers, Hyundai and Kia, are naturally the stars of the show.  Kia Naimo Concept and Hyundai Blu2 Concept have headlined the show whilst GM has unveiled a sweet little hybrid sports cars in Chevrolet's Mi-ray.  GCD is not on-site in Seoul but we thought you might like to see some press pics and their releases.

Kia Naimo Concept

The Kia Naimo Concept takes its name from the Korean word “Ne-mo”, (pronounced ‘Neh-mo’) which means‘square shape’.  This geometric shape is reflected in the overall solid and boxy appearance of the car as well as in a number of details that use rounded rectangles: from the dot-style LED headlights and tail lights to the grid-styled front openings and the door handle surfaces.  The Naimo also features some unusual details such as the asymmetric sunroof inspired by the forms of Asian Celadon-style pottery, the wraparound windscreen and the air-wiper – which uses high-intensity air jet to and replaces the traditional wiper blade on the windscreen.

The jade exterior finish is also inspired by traditional Korean arts and crafts.  To offer an easy access to the cabin, there are no B-pillars and the rear doors are rear-hinged. Also, the trunk has a three-way split opening for versatile loading operations.  The conventional side mirrors have been replaced with miniature cameras integrated in the A-pillars.

The cabin evokes a sense of tranquility thanks to the color scheme and the hand-crafted materials: Korean oak is used to trim the interior door panels and the entire interior floor, and Korean “Han-ji” paper is used for the head lining.  Contrasting with these traditional elements is the instrument panel, that adopts TOLED (transparent organic light emitting diode) technology. This juxtaposition of simple and complex is also common trait of many traditional Korean arts and crafts. “Naimo is a perfect balance of innovation, high-tech and Korean tradition.  It was heavily inspired by the purity and grace of traditional Korean arts and crafts, but combines this with cutting edge technologies to deliver a truly premium experience,” has commented Kia Motors’ Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.

Hyundai Blue2 Concept

Presented at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show, the Hyundai Blue2 Concept (codenamed HND-6) is a design study of a mid-size sedan powered by a fuel cell electric system, with a flowing design and a futuristic interior.  Developed under Hyundai’s new brand direction, “New Thinking. New Possibilities”, Blue2 (codenamed HND-6) is a mid-size FCEV that combines eco-friendly features with futuristic technology.  The name Blue2 (read as “Blue square”) is a combination of the company’s sub eco-brand ‘Blue Drive’ and the number 2 from H2, the symbol of Hydrogen.  The Concept is powered by a fuel cell electric system that delivers an output of 90kW and a fuel efficiency of 34.9km/liter.

The exterior design is based on the ‘Intersected Flow’ concept. A group of character lines originate from the badge area above the front grille, run along the hood and connect with the flowing surfaces of the side cameras – complemented by a roof camera.  The look of the show car is characterized by the contrast the white-colored body and the dark tones of the grilles, the DLOs with a wraparound effect and the glossy stripes that run along the sills and rise up to connect with the rear of the side windows.  The vehicle status is displayed with futuristic images on LED screen panels located on the front and rear of the car.

The interior is characterized by a futuristic and eco-friendly look, with asymmetrically-designed dashboards and doors and wide, comfortable seats.  The instrument cluster and the center fascia have been combined using a Transparent Organic Light Emitting Diode (TOLED) monitor and ultra-light tempered glass, called Gorilla Glass.  The eco-friendly feel is enhanced by the use of antibacterial leather with leaf-shaped patterns, called ‘eco-graphic perforation’.

Chevrolet Mi-ray

“The Mi-ray represents the future of Chevrolet, along with the Volt, the 2011 North American car of the year, and the Alpheon eAssist, which is making its Asian premier at the show,” the company said.  The Mi-ray, developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul, adopts the “mid-electric” propulsion system. In urban driving, the vehicle would, in theory, be propelled by two 15-kW electric motors which are powered by a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery charged through regenerative braking energy.  For performance driving, it would use the 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engines combined with the electric motors.

Storing electricity is a lithium-ion battery back, that can be recharged through regenerative braking. Plus, this hybrid sports car also gets a dual-clutch transmission.  The design for the car is supposedly inspired by cars like the 1963 Monza SS and the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder, although the look is decidedly modern.  

Ssangyong KEV2 Concept