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2018 SsangYong Musso

2018 SsangYong Musso

Everything you need, nothing you don’t

The pick-up market seems to be really heating up overseas, and South Korean automaker SsangYong is capitalizing on the growing segment with the introduction of the updated 2018 Musso at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. In case you were unaware, SsangYong has been making 4x4 vehicles for more than six decades, and enjoys its position as South Korea’s only SUV and 4x4 specialist manufacturer. As such, the Musso pick-up joins SsangYong’s new flagship Rexton SUV to bolster it’s rough-and-ready portfolio.

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2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept

2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept

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.

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The e-SIV EV Shows what SSanYong is Capable of but Leaves a lot to be Desired

The e-SIV EV Shows what SSanYong is Capable of but Leaves a lot to be Desired

Yet another electric SUV from a company that’s becoming defined by them

We used to make fun of SsangYong for having the most SUV concepts among all automakers in the world. Determined to prove us wrong (probably), the Korean automaker went to the Geneva Motor Show to introduce…a new SUV concept. The new model is called the e-SIV EV Concept, and it’s the fifth electric SUV concept SsangYong has shown since 2010. If anything, SsangYong is showing us that it’s not afraid to keep going down the same road in its pursuit of the “perfect” electric SUV.

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 SsangYong Musso Pickup Comes to Attack European Market

SsangYong Musso Pickup Comes to Attack European Market

Korean pickup wants to make a name for itself in the Old Continent

SsangYong isn’t typically the kind of automaker that makes a splash at an event like the Geneva Motor Show. But don’t tell that to the Korean automaker because not only is it in attendance in Geneva, it also brought with it a new pickup that’s looking to take a bite out of the European pickup market. The model is called the Musso, the same name the automaker uses on its affordable SUV. The new Musso pickup is a vehicle of its own, though, and its bringing loads of features on the table.

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SsangYong's Never-Ending Run Of Concept SUVs Needs To Stop

SsangYong’s Never-Ending Run Of Concept SUVs Needs To Stop

The Geneva-bound XAVL Concept follows a very familiar blueprint for the Korean automaker

You would think that at some point in the past five years, the never-ending deluge of Ssangyong concept SUVs would stop and the Korean automaker would finally show a production version of some kind. It shouldn’t be that hard to do, right? Well, guess again because Ssangyong is headed back to the Geneva Motor Show with yet another concept SUV that it’s touting as “a new vision for the brand’s SUV of the future.” We’ve heard that line before.

In any event, the new concept is called the XAVL and from what CEO Johng-sik Choi tells us, it’s an evolved iteration of the XAV that the company unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2015. You read that right. The XAVL Concept is an evolved version of a previous concept. Color me bewildered because that’s exactly how I’m taking this.

To be fair, the XAVL does have some redeeming qualities. It’s a lot better to look at than the rolling monstrosity that was the XAV. The front section has a more balanced look to it, although those massive skid guards are still a sight for sore eyes. There’s a natural masculinity to it too that seemed too forced on its predecessor. The same is true with the rear section. It’s got nicer lines and a more streamlined taillight design, much better than the confused mess on the XAV.

If Ssangyong’s objective for the XAVL is to re-do the XAV and mask it under the premise of automotive design evolution, then consider the job well done. But at some point, these concepts have to stop, at least if the company wants to be taken seriously. We need a mind-blowing production SUV that you can be proud to call your own.

Otherwise, the jokes will keep on coming, as they have been for quite some time now.

Come on, Ssangyong. I’d like to think that you’re better than this.

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2017 Ssangyong Musso

2017 Ssangyong Musso

Huge value packed into a double-cab package

Musso means “rhinoceros” in Korean, which makes sense when you consider the word’s usage in SsangYong’s model lineup. Previously used for the automaker’s mid-size, five-door SUV, the original Musso was produced between 1993 and 2005. The first Musso was sold in markets across the world, including China, Europe, Iran, and Russia, but now, the nameplate is being resurrected to replace SsangYong’s Korando Sports pick-up truck. Recently announced as the automaker’s revised one-tonne pick-up offering (a tonne is equal to 1,000 kg, or approximately 2,205 pounds), the new Musso promises big work-truck capability, a new diesel engine, an affordable price tag, and surprisingly, a family-friendly interior as well.

SsangYong is Korea’s oldest automobile producer, originally ramping up production in 1954. It’s also the nation’s only specialist producer of 4x4s and SUVs, and it sends several of its exports westward towards the U.K.

Previously, SsangYong offered British buyers the Korando Sports pick-up, but now, a name change is needed to prevent confusion with the Korando SUV.

“Our commercial vehicles represent an intrinsic part of the SsangYong range, and we decided to reintroduce the Musso name to differentiate this superb utility truck from our passenger cars,” said Paul Williams, CEO at SsangYong Motor U.K., in a press release.

Long story short, the new Musso is more than an updated Korando Sports with a different name. Read on for the details.

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Ssangyong Making A Push To Enter U.S. Market

Ssangyong Making A Push To Enter U.S. Market

A tentative timetable has been set for 2020

Ssangyong is making a push to enter the US market by 2020 and it’s bringing two small SUVs with it. That much was bared by the company’s very own CEO, Choi Johng-sik, who told Automotive News that the Korean automaker’s plans to introduce an updated version of the Tivoli subcompact crossover and the a new version of the Koran compact crossover. Both models are expected to arrive in the US with four-wheel drive when they hit the market in a few year’s time.

The company’s decision to enter the US market comes at a time when the Mahindra-owned company is slowly getting back on solid footing after years of failing to turn a profit. In fact, according to Choi, Ssangyong is expected to break even this year, the first time it isn’t hitting the red since 2001. It’s also on the verge of introducing a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines that will both be used by US-bound versions of the Tivoli and the Korando. One of the engines is a 1.5-liter engine that can produce 162 horsepower while the other is a bigger 2.0-liter unit that’s good for as much as 220 horsepower.

It’s still unclear how Ssangyong plans to package both models when they arrive in the US, but with the crossover/SUV market being as competitive as it is in this part of the world, the company is gearing up to ensure that it isn’t in over its head when it finally makes its debut in the US.

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The SsangYong LIV-2 Proves That You Don't Have to Sacrifice Luxury to go Off Road

The SsangYong LIV-2 Proves That You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Luxury to go Off Road

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.

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2016 SsangYong LIV-2

2016 SsangYong LIV-2

A Korean SUV concept with a bright future… probably

South Korean automaker SsangYong has officially revealed its latest concept vehicle, the LIV-2. Making its public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the LIV-2 is framed as a “large premium SUV” that’s expected to replace the current Rexton mid-size SUV when it reaches production form sometime next year. The concept is a preview of the upcoming model’s new styling, both inside and out, plus the technology added for safety and entertainment. Customers will get to choose between diesel or gasoline power under the hood.

The LIV in LIV-2 stands for “Limitless Interface Vehicle,” which is a bit vague, but that’s to be expected. This is actually the second iteration of the LIV theme, with the LIV-1 concept breaking cover a few years back at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show. The LIV-2 is said to be the final variant of the Y400 development model (Y400 is the model’s internal product code at SSangyong).

Basically, this is the idealized iteration of Ssangyong’s flagship SUV, a critical model for a company aiming at bringing sturdy (but comfortable) off-roaders to markets like South America, Russia, and China.

The real question is this – what will this thing look like in production form? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the SsangYong LIV-2.

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SsangYong Joins Electric Vehicle Segment With Planned EV SUV For 2019

SsangYong Joins Electric Vehicle Segment With Planned EV SUV For 2019

New model tipped to get design cues from SIV-2 Concept

When you think of Korean automakers, the first two names that immediately come to mind are Hyundai and Kia. Lost in the large shadow cast by these two automotive giants is SsangYong, a company that may have been best known in this part of the world as having been saved from collapse by Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010. Now that it’s back on a better footing, SsangYong is gearing up to join the electric vehicle ranks with the introduction of an EV SUV by 2019.

SsangYong CEO Jong Sik Choi made the proclamation during the launch of the brand’s new Tivoli XLV model, saying that the model, codenamed the C300, will be offered in a number of different powertrains, one of which would be the company’s first fully electric powertrain. It was previously thought of that the Tivoli SUV would get first dibs on the EV powertrain, but the company’s decision-makers opted to wait a little longer to further refine the gasoline engine version so that it could meet new emissions regulations that are scheduled to take effect in 2019. A report from Auto Express also indicated that the model will get another variant with that model being powered by a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that will combine to form a 48-volt “mild hybrid” powertrain. As far as aesthetics go, the model’s design is being tipped to be based on SIV-2 Concept that was showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

It’s become an open secret that SsangYong has high hopes for this new SUV and it’s looking at the model as the one that could spearhead the company’s ambitious plan to increase its sales volume to 200,000 units, a major step up from the 144,764 units it sold in 2015. Whether it accomplishes that or not is still up in the air, but credit should go to SsangYong for taking this leap into the world of electric vehicles.

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2017 SsangYong Tivoli XLV

2017 SsangYong Tivoli XLV

The new Tivoli just got bigger and boxier

Launched in 2015, the SsangYong Tivoli is a mini SUV built to compete with the likes of the Nissan Juke and Kia Soul. Based on the popular Korando as far as design is concerned, the Tivoli is SsangYong’s first new model under Mahindra & Mahindra ownership and it is named after the Italian town of Tivoli, which can be read as "I love it" in reverse. Under development for three years, the crossover was introduced in South Korea in early 2015 with a choice of small-displacement, gasoline and diesel engines. Built in its home country, the Tivoli is exported in several markets in Asia and Europe.

In 2016, SsangYong has expanded the Tivoli family by offering a longer version of the mini SUV. Called the Tivoli XLV, it features a longer body, a roomier interior, and the enhanced practicality that enables it to compete against larger crossovers. Previewed by the XLV Air concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the production model is set to go on sale in Europe and the United Kingdom this summer. SsangYong hopes to sell more than 100,000 Tivoli crossovers by the end of 2016.

“Tivoli has been praised universally for meeting a number of customer requirements, not least its ability to carry five adults in comfort and with one of the largest boot capacities, while many other cars in the sector are regarded as being a ‘down-size’ too far," said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor U.K. “Now SsangYong has gone a step further by launching an extended car to provide even more carrying capacity and practicality. This was shown as the XLV Air concept at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt last year, and from the extremely favorable feedback received, took the decision to put the car into production."

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2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept

2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept

SsangYong is a brand that a lot of Americans might be unaware of, since it isn’t sold here and lives in the shadow of bigger Korean automakers even in the markets where it is sold. It is noteworthy for being the company that built the Rodius, the first generation of which has been argued to be ugliest production car of all time, even uglier than the Pontiac Aztek. SsangYong has avoided taking too many chances with styling since then, but a newly unveiled concept has shown that someone at the company is still thinking about how to make SsangYong cars stand out.

Called the XAV-Adventure, the concept is meant to be a futuristic version of the Korando crossover currently being produced. The concept is both a design study and a platform for several advanced technologies that SsangYong has yet to introduce for production vehicles. SsangYong doesn’t appear to have any plans to change the Korando into this vehicle, but the right amount of follow-up on a vehicle like this could give the perpetual underdog a bit of a boost, and a chance to compete with the relative giant that is Hyundai, even if it doesn’t make it to the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about the SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept.

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