Hyundai Motor on Tuesday launched the redesigned Avante compact passenger car in South Korea with a view to strengthening its domestic market position as the threat from the COVID19 coronavirus continues to grow.

The seventh generation Avante was unveiled in the US last month, ahead of its domestic market launch, which underlines the importance of that market for both this model and for the Hyundai brand as a whole.

The South Korean automaker sold more than 175,000 Elantra badged Avantes in the US last year, equivalent to almost 25% of the brand's sales in the country.

The new Avante has been made launched in South Korea initially with two engines – a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre liquefied petroleum gas injection (LPi) unit.

Later in the second quarter, 1.6-litre petrol/hybrid and high performance variants will be launched.

Prices start at KRW15m (US$12,275) for the basic 1.6L petrol model, rising to KRW24m for the top spec model.

Prices for the LPi models start at KRW18m.

The Avante has advanced safety equipment including forward collision avoidance assist, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning and driver attention warning systems.

Hyundai said it had received 17,000 pre-orders in South Korea for the Avante in the nine days prior to its launch.

The company reported 142,000 domestic sales of the outgoing Avante last year.