Mike Stevens | Mar 24, 2011

It's a partnership most buyers outside of South Korea won't know about: French carmaker Renault and electronics giant Samsung. Officially a subsidiary of the European brand, the Renault Samsung brand represents the interests of Renault in the Korean market.

Despite much of its range coming from the Nissan catalogue (also a Renault partner), the company is in the process of switching to Renault platforms, and the upcoming second-generation SM7 forms part of that evolution.

Shown here as a concept illustration, the new Renault Samsung SM7 will arrive next year, replacing the first-generation model which has been on the market since 2004.

While the current model is little more than a lightly modified Nissan Maxima (Teana in Japan), Renault Samsung says the 2012 SM7 will be an all-new model built on an extended version of the platform underpinning the Renault Latitude (due in Australia this year).

For now, Renault says there are no plans for a wider international debut for the new SM7.

However, with the Latitude beginning life in South Korea as the SM5 before making its way to the global market, there is potential for the new SM7 to make the same leap.

Above: the upcoming 2011 Renault Latitude.

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