All-new model due in 2019 to take SsangYong’s Korando in a fresh direction and challenge the crossover class best.
SsangYong’s midsize Korando SUV is to get a comprehensive overhaul, designed to reposition it as the SsangYong answer to the Nissan’s Qashqai and power the Korean firm into profitability. An all-new SUV, codenamed C300, is under development that will arrive in 2019 to take over the Korando name from the current car - a somewhat rough and ready, off-road focused SUV.
SsangYong is a car company firmly on the up, after a difficult time that saw it file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 after a disastrous period of ownership by China’s SAIC. After being rescued by Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group in 2010, the brand had new impetus, and money, from its new owners. SsangYong launched the impressive Tivoli crossover in 2015 on an all-new monocoque small car platform and the new Korando will share those Tivoli underpinnings, albeit in a slightly elongated form.
The design for the new SsangYong Korando has yet to be finalised but on a recent trip to the firm’s research and development facility at its Pyeongtaek factory near Seoul, South Korea, Auto Express was shown the final three designs for the car, one of which will be chosen for the production version. Whichever design gets the nod, the new Korando will get bold styling with cues lifted from the Tivoli and the new SsangYong Rexton that's set to debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
NEW 2019 SSANGYONG KORANDO SUV TO BUILD ON TIVOLI'S SUCCESS
Thursday 9th June 2016
One of the three options, and probably the best, will be familiar to car spotters as the design of the SIV-2 concept car (pictured) that SsangYong showed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The fact that this distinctive treatment is only slightly toned down in the proposal for the production car indicates the confidence with which SsangYong is now approaching its vehicle design duties.
“The C300 is the replacement for the Korando and the platform will be commonised with the Tivoli so our plan is to build 200,000 units per year on that platform by commonising the C300 and the Tivoli. It will be a little bit stretched for the C300 but they’re basically the same platform,” said Johng-Sik Choi, Ssangyong CEO.
SsangYong has set itself a target of building 250,000 cars a year in the next three years, a figure that would take it to its current production capacity. The C300 Korando will be a crucial car if that figure is to be acheived and, with the Tivoli expected to sell 88,000 units in 2016, there’s strong evidence both of the qualities of the platform it’s based on and the ready market for well-designed small SsangYong SUVs around the world.
Details on the new Korando are like its design drawings - still sketchy - but we do know it will have the Tivoli’s two-tone roof , a side-hinged door in place of a rear tailgate to access the boot, LED headlights and an LCD instrument panel inside. It will also be a more practical car than the Tivoli, sitting above the new Tivoli XLV with its extended boot area in the SsangYong range.
Engine-wise, the C300 is in line to benefit from the new direct injection 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine SsangYong is developing with Mahindra as well as the strong 1.6-litre diesel unit already found in the Tivoli. There will also be electrified powertrains available, with SsangYong already a long way down the road in developing its own pure electric car and range-extender hybrid technology.
The Korando will be offered in front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive form with SsangYong keen to maintain a good level of off-road ability as a constant throughout its SUV range.