Make / Model Search

Future models - SsangYong - Actyon

First look: SsangYong's shark attack!

On the prowl: Actyon will follow the smaller Kyron on sale here next year.

SsangYong’s new compact 4WD, unveilled at Frankfurt, is modelled on a white pointer

4 Oct 2005

KOREAN vehicle manufacturer SsangYong has unveiled its compact four-wheel drive wagon, known as the Actyon, which will rival the likes of Toyota’s RAV4 when it goes on sale in Australia late next year.

An amalgam of "action" and "young", Actyon will sit below the larger Kyron 4WD and is expected to be sold in Australia with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, as seen in the Korean version scheduled to be launched next month.

Details of the five-door Actyon are scant, however, the vehicle closely resembles the XCT concept car previewed at the Seoul motor show earlier this year.

It was described in somewhat flowery terms as having a front-end that resembles a shark and delivers a symbolic meaning of "power and challenge".

"The wide radiator grille reveals the figuration of shark’s mouth in a hunting situation and the sharply designed headlamps represent the image of shark’s eyes to encapsulate the design in a harmonious way," the literature proclaimed.

"The side view also figures the speedy and smooth image of a shark. The wide wheelarch figuration simulates a shark’s fin." Unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, the Kyron is due to go on sale here next March, priced from around $30,000 and with three engines on offer: the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, a 2.7-litre CDi diesel and a high-end 3.2-litre V6.

Further down the track, it could also be powered by a diesel-electric hybrid engine, which the company is known to be developing.

Speaking to GoAuto in Frankfurt, SsangYong’s executive vice president of sales, Moon-Suk Kang, said the marque had ambitious plans to push ahead with alternative-powered 4WDs.

28 center image He was reluctant to talk about power outputs, but said the diesel-electric hybrid made better sense than a petrol-electric engine in larger vehicles and that it would offer a significant lift in power and torque over a conventional turbo-diesel.

The Korean manufacturer is also known to be testing a biodiesel engine in the Musso in New Zealand with the hope of eventually selling it in Australia.

In Australia, SsangYong currently sells the Rexton and Korando 4WDs, the Stavic people mover, the Musso Sport utility and the Mercedes-Benz-based Chairman luxury sedan.

"Once we introduce the Kyron and also the smaller SUV, then we will have three major (4WD) competitors," Mr Kang said.

SsangYong has forecast sales of 35,000 vehicles in Europe next year, mostly stemming from the Kyron, and although Mr Kang would like to sell 50,000 vehicles in Australia he is aware that building the brand image is vital to sales success.

"We are a relatively smaller company," he said. "We are not like the giants like Toyota and Honda, just a specialised company for SUVs. We want to keep that our specialty," he said.

Mr Kang said building brand image could only be achieved through exposure.

"The easy thing is more exposure on the street and people then come to understand who SsangYong is and what products we have," he said.

Its value-for-money equation and quality would also be important, he said.

The Kyron is expected to be fitted as tandard with leather upholstery, a sunroof, traction control and hill descent control.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

SsangYong models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here