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Paris show: SsangYong strikes SUV ‘B’ note again

Air supply: The targa-top XIV-Air (pictured) and more rugged XIV-Adventure both fall under SsangYong’s new design philosophy dubbed ‘Nature born – 3 Motion’.

Two B-segment crossovers from SsangYong turn up in Paris as production draws near


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3 Oct 2014

AFTER showing a handful of concepts over the past three years previewing an all-new city SUV, SsangYong has wheeled out two near-production versions of the light-sized B-segment model dubbed XIV.

Shown as the XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure at this week’s Paris motor show, the crossover – which underwent hot-weather testing in Australia – is due to go on sale in South Korea early next year and is expected to reach showrooms here via distributor Ateco Automotive in the second half of 2015.

SsangYong Motor Co vice-president of CTO, technology and product development Jae-Wan Lee told GoAuto at the Geneva motor show earlier this year that the vehicle should be on sale in Australia around March.

However Ateco this week advised that right-hand-drive versions will not be available until mid-year, meaning a third-quarter launch at the earliest.

Described as one of SsangYong’s “most significant strategic models”, the XIV – which has a project name X100 – rests on a 2600mm wheelbase and measures 4195mm long.

No other measurements are given, but these details place it slightly smaller than the current Korando, which has a 2650mm wheelbase and is 4410mm from end to end.

It is still not clear if the XIV will be a Korando sibling or a replacement, although the company has previously indicated that both models would be sold concurrently in Australia.

“As we approach the international launch of X100, SsangYong’s global strategic model, we are making an all-out effort to perfect the introduction of this vitally important new car,” said SsangYong chief executive Yoo-il Lee.

“With the XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure pre-production concepts, you can get a very good idea of what this new car will look like, and after several years developing this futuristic model, it’s very exciting to think that we’re now just a few months away from its launch.

“Starting from the Paris motor show, we will be focusing on our pre-launch planning, and implementing the sales and marketing strategies for Europe and other international markets to ensure the sales success of X100 around the world.”

The vehicles shown in Paris are equipped with high-grade features such as a fuel-saving automatic engine idle-stop, hill-start assist, emergency brake light system, seven airbags (including dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), ‘advanced’ electronic stability control, Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, a tyre pressure monitoring system, rearview camera, ventilated driver’s seat, digital dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, smart key entry and a hi-res LCD screen with MP3 audio, Bluetooth and USB/aux port.

Power comes from either a small petrol or diesel engine – both are 1.6-litre four-cylinder units and meet the Euro 6 standard – with the diesel delivering CO2 emissions from 110-120g/km in two-wheel-drive six-speed manual format (with idle-stop), or 140-150g/km in petrol guise.

A six-speed automatic transmission will be available, as will a four-wheel-drive system, but SsangYong is yet to reveal other relevant specifications such as power and torque.

It also says the XIV comes with “three-mode smart steering with electric power assistance” although no other details are available at this stage.

The XIV-Air has a targa ‘T-top’ roof that adds an open-air element to the cabin, while the XIV-Adventure has more off-road-oriented design cues such as heavier-duty bumper and a solid-looking roof rack with search light.

Both models are styled under the company’s new design philosophy known as ‘Nature born – 3 Motion’ and are said to have been inspired by “the association of the power and dynamism of nature”.

In Australia, the Korando managed less than 700 sales last year and is down around 50 per cent year to date.

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