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Renault Samsung motor company, the fourth-biggest automaker in South Korea, has released the first official pictures of the third-generation SM5 sedan. Although sales only start in late January via some 192 dealerships, the company is keen on getting ahead of the pack by generating some early interest.

The SM5 is based on the current-generation Renault Laguna and features Nissan's 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A turbo diesel option will also be available.

Reports say the SM5 took about 36 months of development time and cost its makers 400 million won ($340 million). Confidence is high that the car will be well-received not only in the domestic market but also internationally.

Advanced features include adaptive xenon headlights and massage front seats. Speculation is that it will cost less than fellow competing Koreans from Hyundai and Kia.


Gallery: All-New 2010 Renault Samsung SM5 Released

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