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Busan show: SsangYong Korando reborn

Name confirmed: SsangYong's C200 compact SUV will revive the Korando nameplate when it hits the showrooms later this year.

SsangYong C200 compact SUV emerges in production trim – and with Korando nameplate

30 Apr 2010

SSANGYONG has resurrected the Korando nameplate for its all-new compact SUV, which was unveiled in full production trim overnight at the Busan motor show in South Korea.

Codenamed C200, the all-important new model is little changed from the concept shown at motor shows in Asia and Europe over the past 12 months and is understood to have no links with the previous Korando, which never sold well in Australia when it was on sale here mid-last-decade and was discontinued in 2007.

Nonetheless, overseas reports indicate the vehicle will be marketed as the fourth-generation Korando worldwide when it enters production in South Korea in the coming months ahead of an Australian launch in the third quarter.

The first images of the reborn Korando indicate that the sheetmetal used in the near-production concepts is unchanged, although the South Korean marque has made the front end look more aggressive with a reprofiled bumper, large lower airdam, mesh grille inserts, chrome borders and silver trim at the lower front corners.

The headlights, tail-lights and other items such as exterior door mirrors have also been updated in readiness for production, while the rear bumper has twin exhaust outlets and another mesh insert.

Specifications remain scarce at this stage, although the compact SUV has emerged, as expected, with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine and confirmed outputs of 135kW of power and 360Nm of torque.

28 center imageLeft: SsangYong Korando. Below: SsangYong C200 concept.

The Korando will be offered with a choice of manual or automatic transmission, with the latter a six-speed gearbox developed in Australia by Drivetrain Systems International. Both two-wheel drive and 4WD versions will be available from launch.

As GoAuto reported last month, SsangYong’s independent distributor Sime Darby Motors Group (Australia) was involved in the decision over the C200’s international model name and in recommending certain basic design cues for the vehicle.

Slightly smaller than key rivals such as the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage, the Korando will be launched on a “price-value basis” – that is, with a competitive, rather than rock-bottom price, and a relatively high level of standard equipment.

However, specific details are still to be confirmed.

Overseas reports also indicate that SsangYong has plans to produce electric vehicles on a pilot basis over the next three or four years, with mass production forecast for later in the decade.

In demonstrating its capabilities, SsangYong unveiled an electric version of the Korando, dubbed the Pure EV, which reportedly has a top speed of 150km/h and a driving range of up to 180km.

The unveiling of the Korando and the electric prototype in Busan last week came as the Korea Economic Daily reported that Indian auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra was interested in purchasing a stake in SsangYong, which is continuing to operate under court-ordered bankruptcy protection and is majority owned by China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

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