Compact KORANDO driving force
Ssangyong is pinning high hopes on its all-new Korando, reports CHRIS RILEY.
REMEMBER Ssangyong’s Korando fourwheel drive, which was arguably one of the world’s ugliest cars? Ssangyong has plans to launch an all-new Korando later this year, as part of its fightback from the brink of bankruptcy.
But, not unexpectedly, the new Korando looks nothing like the old one.
Malaysia’s leading industrial conglomerate Sime Darby, which has bought the Australian distribution rights for the Korean franchise, has revealed plans to rebuild the brand Down Under.
Sime Darby also is the Australian distributor for Peugeot vehicles.
Along with the launch of the new Korando C, the company has made running changes to the 7-seat Rexton off-road wagon and the Actyon Sports dual cab ute – to improve styling and deliver even better value.
Rexton has been given a slight restyle with cleaner lines thanks to changes to the side steps and rear spoiler as well as having new 18in wheels and Desert Dueler tyres.
Actyon Sports dual cab ute receives a new grille across the range to improve the frontal styling.
The Actyon Sports Ute and the new Korando C both use the Australian designed and built DSI six-speed automatic transmission which is produced in Albury.
Looking further down the track both the Actyon Sports Ute and Kyron are due major facelifts in the next two years, including major sheet metal changes.
The Korando C is based on an all-new monocoque platform, the first Ssangyong SUV model to use a monocoque design.
It also will feature new diesel engine technology, a stylish new compact SUV look and a spacious and luxurious European inspired interior.
Ssangyong believes the Korando C will be the driving force behind the company’s revival and is set to become Ssangyong’s highest volume model in both the Korean domestic market as well as international export markets.
Ssangyong Motors Australia boss Jeff Barber said the new Korando C is strategically important as Ssangyong charts its future direction as a specialist SUV and environmentally aware automaker.
“Korando C is a great looking compact SUV that will win plenty of hearts while satisfying the demand for fuel efficient and clean diesel power,” Mr Barber said.
Moving to a monocoque design has allowed Ssangyong engineers to increase the structural integrity of the vehicle for improved crash safety and reduced noise, vibration and harshness levels, making it among the best in the SUV category.
It will be powered by a state of the art, environmentally friendly 2.0-litre common rail turbo diesel engine that can meet Euro V emission standards. The new eXDi200 2.0-litre German designed diesel engine features an electronically controlled two-stage turbocharger, high-efficiency exhaust gas recycling (EGR) intercooler and optimal air-intake system to reduce emissions and increase engine efficiency.
The new engine delivers 30 per cent more power and 50 per cent more torque than the current SsangYong 2.0-litre turbo diesel, producing around 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque.
Ssangyong engineers have dramatically improved the smoothness of the engine by employing a one-piece plastic cylinder head cover along with a mass balance shaft and simplified camshaft drive chain system. The company is working on both a hybrid and a pure electric version of the Korando C and showed examples of both technologies on its stand at the recent Pusan motor show in Korea.
It is currently conducting advanced R& D activities to develop the Korando C based EV in line with global trends towards low carbon, green growth and to demonstrate Ssangyong’s commitment to low emission vehicle technology.
The Pure EV Korando C shown employs a 100kW electric motor and a 30kWh, 300V high-voltage lithium-polymer battery giving it the capability of travelling up to 180km at a speed of 150km/h.