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Frankfurt show: All set for SsangYong’s new ute

On the way: SsangYong's SUT ute is set for its Australian launch in April next year.

SUT-1 ute appears in final form as SsangYong prepares for early 2012 launch here

15 Sep 2011

SSANGYONG unveiled the production version of its heavily upgraded ‘Sports Utility Truck’ – or SUT – at the Frankfurt motor show this week, with an Australian launch expected in April next year.

While the headlights have been reshaped and the dimensions are now closer to the current Actyon Sports Ute upon which this reskin in based, the SUT-1 – a name that could stick for the Australian market – remains faithful to the concept vehicle shown at the Geneva motor show in March.

South Korean production of the five-seater dual-cab ute, which sticks with a heavy-duty separate chassis construction, remains on track for later this year, with export markets, including Australia, set to receive their first shipments either late in the first quarter of 2012 or early in the second.

No other body styles are anticipated until the vehicle enters a new generation around mid-decade, although the SUT will continue to be available with a choice of two-wheel-drive (RWD) or part-time 4WD drivelines, each with the choice of manual or automatic transmission – six-speed units on both counts.

Importantly, the European-designed and Euro 5 emissions-compliant ‘FR 2.0 Active Diesel’ engine previewed on the concept – and seen in a different tune in the Korando compact SUV – flows into the production ute, with the 1998cc four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 114kW of power from 3400-4000rpm and 360Nm of torque from 1500-2800rpm.

28 center imageSsangYong says 190Nm is on tap from just above idle, at 1000rpm.

In comparison, the Korando’s ‘e-XDi200’ engine is armed with 129kW at 4000rpm and the same 360Nm of torque delivered between 2000 and 3000rpm. The 2.0-litre diesel in the current Actyon Sports musters 104kW at 4000rpm and 310Nm at 1800rpm.

Translate the powertrain improvements to the road and the combined-cycle fuel consumption for the SUT, based on the company’s ‘target data’, is 7.1 litres per 100km for the 4x2 manual, with the 4x4 equivalent consuming 7.4L/100km and the 4x2 auto 7.6L/100km.

Unsurprisingly, the 4x4 auto is the thirstiest of the lot, but still returns a respectable 8.0L/100km.

CO2 emissions range from 186g/km on the 4x2 manual to a maximum 211g/km for the 4x4 auto.

Kerb weight ranges from 1873kg to 1995kg, depending on the variant, while GVM starts at 2640kg and tops out at 2740kg.

The tale of the tape shows overall length on the production ute is 4990mm (5mm longer than the current model, and 25mm longer than the SUT concept), while width remains at the same 1910mm as the Actyon Sports (compared to the narrower concept) and height has increased over both the concept and current model to 1790mm.

The wheelbase is the same 3060mm, the turning circle is now a slightly wider 12.4m and a double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension arrangement carries over, while “optimal tuning” of the engine mounts is said to have minimised vibration. The rear tub measures two metres squared.

Equipment levels have gone up a notch in a bid to position the SUT as “a genuine alternative” to an SUV, with SsangYong pointing to items such as a sunroof, RDS and Bluetooth audio, rearview camera, hinge-sprung tailgate and a trip computer.

There is no sign of side or curtain airbags, but electronic stability control with ‘active rollover protection’ and ABS brakes with brake assist are part of the package.

Dual front airbags, daytime running lights, four-wheel disc brakes and front and rear foglamps are all fitted to the high-series vehicle shown in Frankfurt, along with electric windows/mirrors, electric and heated front seats, leather upholstery, climate-control air-conditioning, cruise control, steering-mounted stereo controls, an electro-chromatic rearview mirror and leather-clad steering wheel.

A choice of 16- and 18-inch alloy wheels will be offered in Europe.

SsangYong says the SUT’s new look reflects its latest design language, presenting a “dynamic appearance displayed through the bird-wing shaped radiator grille and headlamp silhouette”.

The SUT was shown in Frankfurt alongside a 2.0-litre petrol-engined version of Korando – which is under consideration for sale in Australia, despite SsangYong’s current all-diesel strategy – and the XIV-1 micro-SUV, which previews an all-new model for the resurgent South Korean car-maker that is expected to hit the streets in the next few years.

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