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Geneva show: SsangYong XIV-2 convertible crossover

Makes sense: The increasing popularity of compact SUVs means that convertible versions like the SsangYong XIV-2 may eventually become commonplace.

Convertible XIV-2 SUV, petrol Korando among SsangYong’s Geneva show treats

7 Mar 2012

THE modern face of South Korean brand SsangYong was well represented at the Geneva show this week, headlined by a XIV-2 convertible crossover concept that points to a new production sub-compact SUV.

SsangYong’s presence was further bolstered by a revised Korando SUV plus the European launch of its redesigned Actyon Sports dual-cab ute that will arrive in Australia later this month.

In an apparent move away from the all-diesel philosophy the company established in 2008 – intimated several months ago when it changed its slogan in Australia from “we live diesel” to “a lot of car, a little price” – both the revised Korando and XIV-2 concept feature petrol engines.

Sime Darby SsangYong general manager Jeff Barber told GoAuto a petrol-engined Korando is under consideration for Australia.

The two-door XIV-2 show car is a successor to the Range Rover Evoque-like XIV-1 concept from last year’s Frankfurt show, which featured pillarless ‘suicide doors’ as seen on modern Rolls-Royces.

28 center imageLeft: XIV-2. Below: Korando petrol.

It remains faithful to the sketches first issued in February and features an automatic retractable central roof section like that of the Fiat 500C, rather than a conventional drop-top like that fitted to Range Rover’s Evoque cabriolet concept, which also debuted at this year’s Geneva show.

SsangYong described the XIV-2 as a strategic milestone for the company that will be launched in various body styles including three-door and five-door variants plus an “extended body version”.

This means the eventual production incarnation of the XIV-2 will provide SsangYong with a competitor to popular small crossovers like the Nissan Dualis and Subaru XV.

Measuring 4166mm long, 1820mm wide and 1566mm tall, and riding on a 2600mm wheelbase, the XIV-2 is 33mm shorter, 35mm wider and 87mm taller than a Volkswagen Golf.

Weighing from 1170kg for the petrol manual up to 1280kg for the automatic diesel, the XIV-2 is at least 50kg lighter than Volkswagen’s small car.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel drivetrain line-up is the same as the XIV-1, each engine to be available with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

Petrol models produce 125kW of power and 158Nm of torque, while the grunty diesel produces 130kW and 300Nm.

In manual guise, the diesel is claimed to emit just 106 grams of CO2 per kilometre, with fuel consumption of only 4.0 litres per kilometre.

No images of the XIV-2’s interior have been released, but SsangYong said the “dynamic design and refined simplicity” of the XIV-1’s cockpit – which featured touchscreens instead of traditional switchgear, and ambient LED lighting piped across the dashboard – is carried over.

Meanwhile, the updated Korando has received interior and exterior styling tweaks and claimed improvements to safety and quality, in addition to a 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine available only with a manual gearbox in Europe.

Joining the existing 129kW/360Nm 2.0-litre diesel engine is a more frugal, manual-only 149kW version with target combined fuel and emissions figures of 5.5L/100km and 147g/km for the front-drive model.

Mr Barber believes the lower-emission diesel engine was produced for the European market (where the taxation system favours low CO2 output) and was not sure whether it would be available to the Australian market.

He confirmed the new Actyon Sports dual-cab ute remains on schedule for launch in Australia this month.

SsangYong sales rose 43.5 per cent in Australia in 2011 and 210 sales in the first two months of this year represents a further 21.4 per cent increase.

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