SsangYong is a South Korean automobile manufacturer which was bought over by Indian automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra in 2011. Mahindra plans to save the previously bankrupt manufacturer and launch their products in India as well.
Now we’ve seen the Korean automaker release some of the least attractive vehicles in the past, but it has done quite well in recent years, or at least not as bad as it used to.
The LIV-1 Concept is the latest proof that SsangYong is serious about giving its models a stylistic makeover. Pegged as a large premium SUV, the LIV-1 certainly has a couple of things about it that’s worth mentioning, including the haughty headlight setup, which we actually like because it gives off a proud but not too arrogant look that underlines SsangYong’s intention to make a name for itself in the business.
There’s a good chance that the LIV-1 Concept is a preview of a production vehicle and we won’t be surprised if it does make it to production. With the number of concepts SsangYong has been releasing the past few years, at least one of them has to make it to production, right?
Full details of the LIV-1 will be revealed at the Seoul Motor Show so sit tight and we’ll give you the information when it becomes available.
You know an auto show is a really big deal when you have a brand like SsangYong preparing more than just one concept to bring the show.
We already touched on the Rodius minivan concept about a week ago and now, the Korean automaker has released a few teasers of yet another concept, this time called the SIV-1.
Not to be confused with the XIV-1 that we first saw a few years ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the SIV-1 definitely looks a lot more up-to-the-times than any of the current SsangYong models in production today. While no details have been given for the SIV-1, the two teasers indicate a lot of the styling cues the crossover has, including the fancy LED-infused headlights, a small yet distinctive Kia-looking grille, and a huge fender that makes the SIV-1 appear bigger than it actually is.
The sloping roofline is also nice touch, something SsangYong should definitely consider on their future models so we don’t make fun of how square they are anymore. A tailgate-mounted spoiler and a dual-exhaust system are key features on the rear, as are the distinctive taillights that, if for nothing else, look a tad on the bland side, at least compared to those LED headlights.
SsangYong’s Rodius minivan was never created with the intention of winning any design awards. That much was made evident with a look that reminded you a forlorn cat looking for some food and shelter. In a way, it was really sad to look at. So sad, in fact, that seeing one on the road almost brings a tear to our eyes, as if to say that "I hate myself. Please Ssangyong, change my appearance."
Well, at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show , the Korean automaker is finally acquiescing with the introduction of the facelifted Rodius. And to their credit, the two teaser photos seem to show a more refreshing looking Rodius that makes use of SsangYong’s design philosophy of “Robust, Premium, Specialty.”
The body looks more streamlined, something we didn’t think SsangYong was able to comprehend with the existing Robius. There’s some potential here, albeit a limited one, given the automaker’s standing in the automotive hierarchy. Regardless, it’s a small step for these guys to get more attention, something they tried in the wrong way with their existing Rodius minivan.
We’ll have the full details of the refreshed Rodius when it makes its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
In 2011, Ssangyong debuted the XIV-1 crossover concept, but it never saw production. In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Ssangyong brought the more modern and convertible XIV-2 , but it still had no release details attached with it. Now, Ssangyong is bringing another variant to the XIV concept lineup in the form of the E-XIV.
The E-XIV, much like its predecessors, has no anticipated release date, but it is expected to debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The E-XIV is a huge step forward for the developing automaker, as it disposes of the traditional gasoline and diesel engines in favor of an electric drivetrain that uses a small gasoline engine to extend its range.
The details are very scarce, but we can tell that the front fascia of the E-XIV is slightly different than that on the XIV-2, as it lacks the air-intake ducts and plastic insert on the front fascia. In the place of the plastic insert are a series of small holes, but we are unsure of their purpose. On the rear en, you can see that there is really no difference between the E-XIV and the XIV-2, with exception to the illuminated “E-VIX” logo on the rear fascia. We also know that it’ll measure in at 163.2 inches long x 70.8 inches wide x 62.4 inches high and have a 102-inch wheelbase.
On the roof, instead of boasting a “convertible” top, the E-XIV features a glass roof and solar panels, meaning that this hybrid would use solar energy too. That would be a huge revolution in the industry, but it may be purely theory now, in the case of Ssangyong.
We’ll just have to wait and see what Ssangyong rolls out on September 29th to see if this solar hybrid is a reality or just another non-production brainchild.
Fast forward to the upcoming 2012 Geneva Motor Show and the Korean automaker is bringing another concept crossover, the XIV-2 Concept. Unlike the XIV-1, the XIV-2 is being prepared as a three-door, convertible crossover concept that measures 4,166mm long, 1,820mm wide, and 1,566mm tall. It also features a one-touch automatic opening soft-top roof, among many of its still-to-be-announced qualities.
SsangYong has also announced that the concept will carry different variations - petrol and diesel - of the company’s 1.6-liter engine.
For now, the SsangYong has bared some teaser images of the XIV-2 Concept leading up to its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It remains to be seen as to what kind of surprises the Korean automaker has in store for us with the XIV-2 Concept. Rest assured, we’ll be very interested to see how they follow up on their surprisingly popular XIV-1 Concept.
The fact that some of the world’s lesser known brands have all come out of the woodwork to present their own concept cars speaks volumes on how popular Frankfurt is. We haven’t heard from Ssangyong in a while now, but apparently, all that changed when the South Korean automaker officially introduced a new compact crossover concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show called the Concept XIV-1.
According to SsangYong, the Concept XIV-1 is derived from the the phrase "eXcitinguser Interface Vehicle" and was brought to the biggest auto show in the world to introduce everyone to the company’s new design language, one that is expected to be applied to a lot of its future models.
Not much is being mentioned about the concept’s future other than it’s going to serve as the concept peg for a lot of the company’s future models. But if it does get the green light, expect it to be a player in what is appearing to be a very competitive premium SUV segment.
Find out more about the SsangYong Concept XIV-1 after the jump
SsangYoung is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive world, it gets no respect. But unlike the late, great Mr. Dangerfield, it doesn’t deserve it. The Korean made, Chinese owned car company has yet to figure out how to design a car, and anyone who has ever driven one has wondered if it employs high school kids in its R&D department. So while SsangYoung’s Rexton may look like a Mercedes M-Class (it even has a Mercedes engine,) its the old M-Class with an old four-cylinder diesel. The only modification this car really needs is a few shot gun shells applied liberally to the entire front end until dead.
With that stated, it seems Project Kahn has decided to go very down-market and modify this beast from a company once known as "Dong-A-Motor". Dubbed Rexton R-Line, the new kit includes new side sills, rear spoiler with integrated exhaust system, parking sensors, Kenwood navigation system, and new 22-inch Kahn Design alloy wheels. Also available is a new Mercedes-Benz T-Tronic gearbox with added hill descend control to run the 4x4 system.
Price of the kit: $46,750. That’s a little pricey considering that top-of-the-line Rexon starts out at about $40,500 if it were available in the States (and be glad it’s not.)
Rexton is SsangYong’s first new model since it disappeared from the market a few years ago and falls between the compact and large SUV categories. It features up 7 seats on some models, for the price of a RAV4 or X-trail. It might appear to customers be a bargain. But those who have driven a modern European or Japanese 4x4 will be unimpressed. The Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe are less pretentious and would be far more worthy targets for those looking for a bargain 4x4.