Ssangyong’s predisposition in developing one SUV concept after another has yet to yield real-world results, but that could change with the arrival of the e-SIV Concept. The latest SUV concept to come out of the Korean automaker paints a clearer picture of the company’s plans for the future, specifically as it relates to its place in the electric car segment. The e-SIV Concept is the culmination of years of hard work developing the company’s ideal all-electric SUV. Somewhere along the way, we’re going to see an electric SUV out on the road with Ssangyong’s badge on it. We don’t know if it’s going to be an evolved version of the e-SIV, but considering the investments the company has made to get to this point, we’d like nothing more than to see the fruits of all that labor.

Ssangyong e-SIV Concept Exterior

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Exterior
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The Ssangyong e-SIV Concept follows in a long and weird tradition that the Korean automaker has adopted in recent years.

The Ssangyong e-SIV Concept follows in a long and weird tradition that the Korean automaker has adopted in recent years. One SUV concept after another came and went without any tangible development. It’s no surprise, then, that the e-SIV’s styling draws some similarities to some of the company’s past concept SUVs, specifically the XAVL. For what it’s worth, the e-SIV does look like an evolved version of the XAVL. It has a sexier look to it that’s highlighted in large part by a distinctive front section. The front grille is a lot more prominent in this concept. The headlights configuration is also more appealing, particularly the integration of a light bar just above the grille that extends the full width of the front and connecting the two headlights together. The intakes are aggressive while the bumper and air dam are distinctive without taking too much away from the overall design. Overall, it’s a pleasant-looking front section.

The side profile also has hints of the XAVL, including the body lines in the e-SIV are far more refined than in the previous concept. Maybe this is Ssangyong showing us the improvements it has made from the XAVL, but I’m liking what I see here. There’s grace in the stylistic positioning of the body lines, something that we didn’t get to see as much in the previous concept. Hints of the XAVL do still pop up, particularly in the design of the C-pillar and the fastback-like slant as the roof approaches the rear hatch.

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Exterior
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The monstrosity that was the XAVL’s rear design was mercifully taken out in favor of a more balanced look

If there’s one section that clearly shows how evolved the e-SIV is compared to the XAVL, it’s the rear section. The monstrosity that was the XAVL’s rear design was mercifully taken out in favor of a more balanced look. The massive diffuser on the old concept was removed in favor of a layered look that culminates with a massive stretched taillight design that also runs the width of the section. There’s still an element of extreme design in the way this section of the SUV looks, but it’s still a lot better than anything Ssangyong has ever done in the last decade.

Ssangyong e-SIV Concept Interior

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Interior
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We can see as much in the interior where the dashboard has been turned into one long and massive digital display

I’ll give Ssangyong this much credit. It’s proven itself to be adaptable to the current trends in the industry. We can see as much in the interior where the dashboard has been turned into one long and massive digital display. Another digital display can be seen below it in a portrait layout. This second display is presumably the digital instrument cluster that’s reminiscent of the one you’ll normally see inside a Tesla. A few buttons are scattered around what looks to be a traditional gear shifter.

The concept also has four sports seats, separated by two armrests. The whole cabin is dressed largely in white, though there is a blue bar that stretches from the driver’s side front door to the passenger’s side front door, crossing the width of the dashboard in the process. That’s very likely to be some kind of ambient lighting.

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Interior
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The concept also has four sports seats, separated by two armrests.

There’s really not much to see here other than the digital dashboard. Perhaps we’re finally seeing what the interior of a production Ssangyong SUV is going to look like? I wouldn’t put money on it, but there are a lot of design elements inside the e-SIV that wouldn’t look out-of-place in a real-life model. Just a thought.

SSangyong e-SIV Concept Drivetrain

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Exterior
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Powering the Ssangyong e-SIV Concept is a 140 kW electric motor and a 61.5 kWh battery.

Powering the Ssangyong e-SIV Concept is a 140 kW electric motor and a 61.5 kWh battery. The electric motor, in particular, reportedly produces 187 horsepower, which really isn’t a lot for a C-segment SUV. But it should be enough to help a production version achieve its goals of going from point A to point B. It’s also capable of a top speed of 94 mph, which, again, isn’t much. But hey, at least it’s something.

The e-SIV Concept is seriously underpowered. No surprises there. But ultimately, it shouldn’t matter, because the most important detail about the concept’s drivetrain is the range it can return and the amount of charging time it takes to get the battery pack up running to almost-full capacity. On that end, the e-SIV Concept carries a range anywhere between 200 to 280 miles while charging the battery from 0 to 80 percent takes roughly around 50 minutes. Not too bad on these fronts.

Conclusion

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept Exterior
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For a while, I thought it was actually funny that Ssangyong was getting away with rehashing one concept after another without any of them seeing the light of production. At some point, the amusement factor stopped, and the automaker’s strategy just became confusing.

That brings us to the e-SIV Concept. I still have no clue what to make of Ssangyong’s intentions here, but it is good to see that the company’s intentions are beginning to come into focus. All the concepts it presented in the past years — there have been a lot of them — point to the same thing: Ssangyong is building the know-how to develop a lineup of electric vehicles.

It’s all going to culminate in production models down the road. Hopefully, the e-SIV Concept moves Ssangyong one step closer to achieving that goal.

  • Leave it
    • * Seriously underpowered
    • * No way to tell if this is headed to produciton
    • * How many more concept SUVs should we expect?

References

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Press release

As a specialist manufacturer of SUVs, SsangYong has developed a wide range of cars for use on-road, off-road and in both urban and leisure environments. e-SIV is a C-segment sized electric vehicle (EV) and is the company’s fifth electric car concept to be exhibited. Previous models include KEV1 in 2010, KEV2 (2011), e-XIV (2012), and Tivoli EV-R shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to EVs.

e-SIV - which stands for Electronic Smart Interface Vehicle, has been developed to demonstrate SsangYong’s approach to creating a connected mobility solution and autonomous driving. The company recognises that change in future mobility will only result from positive consumer interest, engagement and experience, and e-SIV will be central in helping to shape the next-generation of SsangYong SUVs and EVs.

With a compact, balanced and dynamic design to create a sporty looking car for the future, the e-SIV is based on the design of SsangYong’s next generation C-segment SUV.

Styling concept

e-SIV was inspired by SsangYong’s design language that embraces the power and dynamism found in Korea’s natural environment and interpreted in all its recent new car designs. Through the new design concept of ‘New horizon, smart dynamism’, this prototype articulates the future look for SsangYong electric SUVs.

The coupé design blends an attractive body shape with usability and convenience to differentiate it from other EV models, and is intended to position the brand as one that appeals to different future lifestyles.

The concept is intended to show that SsangYong’s next generation of cars won’t just be functional, but will also offer efficiency with dynamic driving characteristics. It will also provide the platform for an advanced connectivity interface along with new user experiences such as autonomous driving.

The design cues communicate the principal values of youthfulness and sportiness, while the subtle design echoes the silhouette of a coupé while retaining the space utilisation and rugged style of an SUV, yet also aerodynamically efficient.

The interior design reflects the changes that SsangYong has embarked on to create a smart, user-centric interface within a balanced and organised space, and is equipped with four independent bucket seats.

The wide and clear information display is designed to make the car user-focused for the driver and passengers, with a really spacious feel. The instrument cluster communicates information and messages via clear graphics suitable for self-driving and fully optimised for future connectivity.

As with the display on the main console, the second-row centre console not only allows information to be shared with rear seat passengers, but is also adjustable to enhance interior space utilisation.

The interior has a bright and contemporary ambiance, with a Geonic pattern used throughout for the soft materials, especially creating a comfortable environment for the driver when driving autonomously. There is also ambient light around the instrument panel and door trims to complete the harmonised atmosphere.

Technology concept

The e-SIV realises the vision of creating a car designed for busy people. The SsangYong aspiration has been to build a car with a smart interface that fuses perfectly with the very latest technology to become a mobile communication space. Through machine learning-based voice recognition, the internet and state-of-the-art autonomous navigation, SsangYong will create a car for people and the future.

Autonomous driving

The autonomous driving technology applied to the e-SIV uses a radar and camera sensor system. This stage 2 self-driving technology recognises the lane the car is travelling in, and can maintain a safe distance between it and other vehicles on the road. This can be further enhanced with an additional sensor to increase the automatic lane and active driving function to achieve self-driving stage 3.

Connectivity

The connected car function applied to the e-SIV consists of three major parts.

Firstly, it can charge the car’s battery remotely by monitoring the charging progress through a smart phone app based on LTE communication with the electric car specialised service.

In addition, it manages the charging station information in real time, predicts the driving range based on the amount of charge in the battery, and selects the optimal driving route accordingly.

Second, the telematics service enables a number of functions to be controlled remotely. These include turning the power on and off, the air-conditioning, car diagnostics and vehicle management, emergency driving in case of an incident and even driver safety support.

The third element is an infotainment service. This creates personalised functionality tailoring services to meet individual convenience via machine learning speech recognition, and works through partnerships to manage music, radio and inter-connected home control.

This new SsangYong connected car service, is intended to improve both safety and convenience.

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