News - SsangYong
Australia’s SsangYong Musso tune could go global
Other markets to consider Ironman 4x4’s local SsangYong Musso suspension tune
5 Apr 2019
By JUSTIN HILLIARD in SEOUL
SSANGYONG Motor Company says the upcoming Australian suspension tune for its Musso dual-cab pick-up could head overseas if it is received well by other markets, while similar programs are either already underway or being considered for new models.
Speaking to journalists last week at Pocheon Raceway in Pocheon, South Korea, SsangYong Motor Co export division managing director Sanjeev Saksena said specific suspension tuning “is turning out to be one of the most important things” in the Australian market “that has got its own requirements”.
“The (factory tune) is really good, but we will check for Australia if it is good enough (for every model),” he said. “Otherwise, I think we’ve got everything else right for that market.”
SsangYong Motor Co’s models typically have two tunes – Korean and European – with the Australian-market Musso, as well as the Tivoli and Rexton SUVs, launching last year with the latter set-up that was developed by a third party in Spain.
Local suspension specialist Ironman 4x4 was appointed by SsangYong Motors Australia to lead the Musso tuning program on home soil, which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter this year.
Mr Saksena explained that SsangYong Motor Co’s product marketing council, which is comprised of the distributors from all export markets, will drive examples of the Australian-tuned Musso when they next meet in June “to see whether that could be standardised for the rest of the world”.
“The kind of driving conditions you are talking about, it’s everywhere, even in the most progressive countries,” he said. “Whatever we do in Australia, feeds into other markets.
“If you talk about UK, farmers are buying our vehicles because of their torque. We are thinking that they could also take their vehicles to the farms and onto their dirt roads, etcetera, so what about them?
“Let’s see whether they find this suspension good enough for them.”
Asked if the local suspension tune will be applied on the production line in South Korea or fitted at an Australian dealership, Mr Saksena said “we want to do it in the factory”.
“That is why we are doing it,” he said. “Otherwise, we would have just shipped the vehicles to Australia and left it to be done there. R&D is (preparing for) it.”
SsangYong Motors Australia intends to offer the Musso tune to existing owners as a dealer-fit accessory, although its pricing is yet to be locked in.
Meanwhile, a couple of Musso XLVs, the long-wheelbase version of the Musso, are already in Australia undergoing tuning ahead of the model’s launch in May.
While changes are likely to be made to the Musso XLV’s leaf and coil springs, as well as to the wheel camber of its leaf-sprung variants, they will not be available once sales begin.
Similarly, the fifth-generation Korando mid-size SUV will launch in August with the European tune, and if it is determined to require changes to better suit Australian conditions, a similar program will be undertaken, according to Mr Saksena.
Fellow Korean marques Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) and Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) have a long history of success with their tuning programs that take focus on the low-quality and high-speed roads found locally.
Meanwhile, the range of dealer-fit accessories for the Musso is slowly expanding as Australian Design Rules (ADR) compliance is reached following local development.
A towbar, a soft tonneau, a roller cover, a sports bar and canopy are already available, while a soft tonneau are side steps are imminent.
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