Renault Samsung Motors Inc. releases sketches of the replacement for its popular SM3 compact sedan that will be produced at the RSM plant in Busan, South Korea, later this year.

The current SM3 is sold under the RSM badge in Korea and exported under the Nissan brand.

It is the entry-level vehicle in the auto maker’s SM series.

Officials decline to reveal details of the new SM3, which will be previewed in show-car form at the Seoul Motor Show April 3-12.

The current SM3 is exported as the Nissan Almera Classic to Russia and Ukraine and the Nissan Almera in Latin America. It is marketed as the Nissan Sunny in Asian export markets.

First launched in September 2003, the SM3 is based on the Nissan Sunny/Bluebird Silphy. It underwent a body and features update in 2006 as a result of collaboration between RSM’s design center in Yongin City, about 40 miles (64 km) south of Seoul, and the Renault Design Center in France.

The current SM3 is available in four trim levels with 1.5L and 1.6L Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. engines, as well as an all-aluminum 1.5L dCi turbo mill produced at RSM’s engine facility in Busan.

In 2008, RSM sold 67,299 units of the SM3/Almera worldwide. Through February, 324,955 vehicles have been delivered since the car’s debut.

RSM also plans to unveil an eco-friendly concept vehicle in Seoul named the eMX (eco-Motoring Experience) that was fully developed at the auto maker’s design center.