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Seoul show: SsangYong unveils KEV2

Take-two: SsangYong has unveiled an EV Korando at the Seoul show.

Korean brand rebounds with all-electric version of its Korando SUV

SsangYong logo4 Apr 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

REBORN South Korean car-maker SsangYong revealed an all-electric version of its Korando compact SUV at the Seoul motor show last week.

Few official details accompanied the unveiling of the KEV2 (Korando Electric Vehicle 2) – SsangYong’s second concept based on its all-new SUV, following the ‘Pure EV’ concept from last year’s Busan motor show.

However, its emergence demonstrates that the company’s plans to produce a range electric vehicles is back on track after exiting court-protected bankruptcy last year under new owner, India’s Mahindra and Mahindra.

SsangYong plans to produce electric vehicles on a pilot basis over the next three or four years, with mass production forecast for later in the decade.

The company has given the KEV2 concept a more aggressive appearance than the conventional-engined Korando, removing the now-superfluous grille and adding LED headlights, stylish alloy wheels and side-vents.

28 center imagePictures of the KEV2’s interior, first seen in sketch form just prior to the show, reveal a centre console-mounted tablet PC, a continuation of the vogue from the recent Geneva motor show that saw concepts from Smart, Rinspeed and VW with similar in-dash set-ups.

While little technical detail about the KEV2 was provided in Seoul, information issued at the Geneva show about the Korando EV gives an indication of what lies beneath the white bodyshell.

This includes a 120kW electric motor, a maximum driving range of 180km from the 35kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a top speed of 150km/h and an overall weight of 1750kg.

SsangYong claims the normal charging time via a conventional electricity supply is eight hours, or as little as 30 minutes using a higher-voltage rapid-charge outlet.

As GoAuto has reported, the Korean manufacturer also revealed plans in Geneva to produce an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) that would be “slightly smaller than Korando”, weigh just 1300kg and have seating for five.

This second member of SsangYong’s dual-pronged EV strategy will use an IC-EV plug-in hybrid configuration in the same vein as the Chevrolet/Holden Volt, mating an 80kW electric motor with a 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack to as yet unspecified internal-combustion ‘back-up’ engine.

It would have the same maximum speed, but the batteries could be recharged in only five hours (or 15 minutes on quick-charge) for a 60km range on electric power alone or 400km using the engine as well.

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