Samsung is very well known for making electronics and home appliances. But cars? Thinking of Samsung as an automobile manufacturer is like thinking of pornstar Sasha Grey as an Academy Award-Winning actress. But as history tells us, back in 1994 French automobile manufacturer Renault grouped up with Samsung to create Renault Samsung Motors for the South Korean market. Beginning 1998, Renault Samsung Motors began producing a small amount of cars that were largely based off of Nissans or Renaults. Think of them as a company very similar to Korean’s other small manufacturer, SsangYong. Now, the brand has a new model out.
Called the Samsung SM7, which is a model that has been in production since 2004, the second-generation SM7 features an all-new design. Unlike the original model, which was based off of Nissan’s old Maxima platform, the new model is based off of the Renault’s and Nissan’s D-platform, which is also shared with the likes of the Renault Laguna II and the Renault Latitude.
The Samsung SM7 cost roughly 32 months and nearly $300 million in research and development and looking at the SM7, it appears the money and time was well spent because the car is actually pretty handsome.
Featuring Nissan’s infamous VQ 3.5L V6, the same found in many Nissans and Infinitis today and in the past, the SM7 produces 258hp and 243 lb-ft of torques. Also available is Nissan’s VQ25 V6 that has a reduced displacement of 2.5L. The 2.5L engine offers 190hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to six-speed automatic.
“All-New SM7 is Renault Samsung Motors’ new flagship and delivers everything customers expect of a big premium saloon, including refined, luxurious styling, exceptional quality, and outstanding comfort and driving pleasure thanks to the contribution of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s world class technological expertise,” said Renault Samsung Motors’ CEO Jean-Marie Hurtiger. “The all-New SM7 will set new standards in Korea’s big family saloon car market.”
Samsung’s SM7 will cost the South Korean buyer 30 to 39 million Korean won or $27,806 US to $36,147 US. A release date has not been set yet.
2012 Renault Samsung SM7:
– By: Chris Chin