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Geneva show: Greener future for SsangYong

Zero hero: SsangYong says its zero-emissions Korando EV will offer a driving range of 180km from its 120kW electric motor and 35kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

SsangYong announces EV and hybrid plans, hints at upcoming compact sedan

3 Mar 2011

SSANGYONG has announced plans to produce an all-new hybrid vehicle, a full-electric version of its recently released Korando compact SUV and a series of economical new petrol and diesel engines that will slot in across the reborn Korean manufacturer’s model range.

As well as presenting its SUT 1 concept in Geneva, which previews the successor to its Actyon Sports Ute, SsangYong also made it clear that passenger cars are firmly on its agenda, revealing that its new powertrains are meant for vehicles other than its SUV and utility models, including an upmarket sedan.

The manufacturer’s intention to produce hybrid and electric models is the first sign that its alternative powertrain strategy is back on track after battling its way out of court-protected bankruptcy last year under new owner, India’s Mahindra & Mahindra.

The Korando-previewing C200 concept first shown in 2008 included a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, believed to be based on the Euro 5-compliant 129kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel now powering the production model.

There are no details of the internal combustion (IC) engine in the ‘IC-EV’ hybrid’s technical details issued in Geneva this week, but SsangYong has confirmed that it has been designed as a range-extender, as seen with the Chevrolet/Holden Volt. Hence, it is likely to have a much smaller displacement than 2.0 litres.

SsangYong is referring to this vehicle as an EREV (Extended Range EV) that is slightly smaller than the Korando, which is pointing in no uncertain terms to a move into the passenger car market.

28 center imageFrom top: e-XDi200 Green 2.0 diesel, e-XDi220 2.2 diesel and XGi200 Green TCI petrol.

The EREV measures 4200mm long, 1820mm wide and 1560mm high, and tips the scales at 1300kg – a size and weight that is more akin to a compact sedan and which is 450kg less than the Korando EV development vehicle.

The Korando EV is bigger at 4400mm long and 1685mm high, although it is narrower at 1810mm wide, according to the specifications released in Switzerland.

The company provides a further clue when it says its new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is scheduled to debut in Australia with the Korando early next year, has also been “designed to fit ... premium passenger cars, giving it maximum scope to meet the needs of a wide range of downsizing drivers”.

It also said the 2.2-litre diesel unveiled at the show “will be the perfect match for a premium saloon, offering strong performance and excellent efficiency for drivers downsizing from a larger engine”.

The EREV seats five and relies on an 80kW electric motor and 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack. SsangYong claims the vehicle is capable of a 150km/h top speed, with a range of up to 400km – 60km of which can be achieved with electric-only propulsion.

Recharging time is quoted at five hours using a conventional domestic power outlet, or 15 minutes using a rapid-charge device.

The Korando EV, meanwhile, has the same top speed as the hybrid but its driving range, achieved with a 120kW electric motor and 35kWh lithium-ion battery pack, is limited to 180km. Recharging times are said to be eight hours, or 30 minutes on quick-charge.

SsangYong also used the Geneva show to unveil three new four-cylinder diesels and the aforementioned 2.0-litre petrol-turbo inline-four engine, all of which will reportedly meet both the Euro 5 and 6 emissions standards and, according to the company, also improve torque at low-to-mid engine speeds and provide “vastly improved” NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) performance.

All have been developed to allow both transverse and longitudinal mounting, and are designed for both front-drive and 4WD drivelines.

The common-rail turbo-diesels comprise two ‘e-XDi200’ 2.0-litre units – dubbed ‘Active Diesel’ and ‘Green Diesel’ respectively – and a 2.2-litre unit with two-stage turbocharging.

As the name suggests, the Green Diesel has been designed to achieve the best economy, although SsangYong stopped short of providing specific figures for either fuel consumption or emissions – other than the claim of improvements of up to 30 per cent in CO2 terms.

The Green engine produces 110kW from 3400-4000rpm and 360Nm from 1500-2800rpm, while in ‘Active’ form it outputs 114kW at 4000rpm and the same torque/rpm. Injection pressure for both is at 1800 bar but ‘peak firing pressure’ is 200 bar for the Active engine and 180 for Green.

In comparison, the current Euro 5-compliant 2.0-litre diesel in the just-launched Korando is good for 129kW at 4000rpm and 360Nm from 2000-3000rpm.

The ‘e-XDi220’ 2.2-litre two-stage turbo-diesel shown in Geneva runs a 2000 bar common-rail system, delivering 165kW at 4000rpm and 500Nm from 1600-3000rpm.

The so-called ‘XGi200 Green TCI’ 2.0-litre CVVT turbo, meanwhile, produces 155kW at 5500rpm and 300Nm from 2000-4000rpm.

Both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available with the new engines, with the self-shifters understood to be developed by Australian-based supplier Drivetrain Systems International, which already supplies the automatic used in the Korando.

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