Looking good while getting dirty

SsangYong Motor Company just publicly unveiled its LIV-2 (“Limitless Interface Vehicle 2”) concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and according to the automaker, it offers substantial off-roading capability. At the same time, the exterior body panels carry the marque’s new “Dignified Motion” design language, which at first glance, might appear at odds with the crossover’s off-road worthiness, right? Because after all, how does one appear dignified while slogging through the great outdoors? SsangYong says it has a solution.

SsangYong is the self-proclaimed leader when it comes to producing SUVs and 4x4s in its native land, so the LIV-2 has a few pretty big expectations set up for it right at the off. That said, it does come with a few very good features to enhance its off-road worth.

Under those slick body panels, you’ll find classic body-on-frame construction. Providing the stick is the company’s very own four-wheel drive system, which is fed by a diesel engine producing as much as 420 Nm (310 pound-feet of torque) at 1,500 rpm. So far, so good.

Mounted under the nose and tail, you’ll also find silver skid plates to protect vulnerable mechanicals, while inside is an “intelligent interface” for better car-driver communication when out on the rough stuff.

Now for the luxury half of the equation. Ingress and egress is assisted by electric side steps, while the whole cabin uses a layout that emphasizes the individual seats positioned in the rear. Speaking of seats, expect reclining seatbacks and a massage function, as well as leather upholstery. Piano black trim, adjustable mood lighting, and copious tech round out the package. Finally, that off-roader rubber you see in the corners is outfitted with a “differentiated angle and layered tread pattern” to keep it quiet.

Still, the proof is in the pudding. We’ll withhold our final judgment until we get a real look at this thing’s cabin space – not to mention how it handles a little rock crawling action.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

Ever since folks first started moving about on four wheels, they’ve demanded polar opposites as far as features go. Speed is great, but so is efficiency. Maneuverability and ease of driving are important, but so is a roomy interior.

Comfort and capability is another one of those hard-to-find, contradictory pairings. Still, that’s why we’ve got engineers, right?

The real question is this – how much of this stuff will actually make it into production? The LIV-2 is supposed to preview something consumers can buy in a dealership in the future, but it’s uncertain how much of this stuff will make it past the chopping block on the way to the assembly line.

If the LIV-2 does manage to transform into a crossover that combines both luxury and off-road worth, the only question left will be who gets to take it on the trail – you, or your chauffeur?

Read our full review on the 2016 SsangYong LIV-2 here.

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