Hyundai has revived the Accent model name, dropped 11 years ago, with the unveil of its new RB subcompact.

The previous Accent was launched in 1994, and more than 410,000 units of the vehicle were sold on the local market until it was discontinued in 1999. The new model is equipped with a choice of a 1.4-litre MPI petrol  or 1.6-litre GDI diesel.

The new model will go onto the South Korean market during the first half of next year, replacing the Verna. The Accent is bigger than the model it replaces with the wheelbase having been extended by 7cms.

The new Accent also has significantly upgraded safety features, the first in its segment in Korea to come with six airbags driver and passenger seats, side and curtain and active headrest as standard features.

Other features new to the segment include vehicle stability management system and rear parking sensor.

The company has been receiving pre-launch orders for the new model since last month but has not revealed the price or the starting date for deliveries.

The Korea Herald reported that regardless of price, Hyundai will have to look to overseas if it is to reap profits from the new Accent. With local motorists favouring larger vehicles, or opting for the city car segment that comes with various tax benefits, the Accent is unlikely to be a big seller on South Korean market.

The subcompact segment is one of Korea’s least popular with less than 38,000 units sold in Korea last year.

The segment’s share of last year’s domestic market came in at around 3.2%, about 40% of which was taken by Hyundai with the Click and the Verna. Hyundai said it hopes to sell 20,000 Accents domestically next year.

According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), three local subcompacts Hyundai Verna, Kia Pride and GM Daewoo Gentra accounted for more than 22% of Korea’s 2m passenger car exports last year, and the Hyundai Verna was last year’s second most exported vehicle.

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