Could the Korean automaker really make Land Rover sweat?
Let's be honest, South Korean automaker SsangYong doesn't build the prettiest cars on the planet. The company doesn't sell any cars in the US, and that has never been a problem in our minds. Even though Ssangyong has announced an intention to come to the US market, it would need some new models to appeal to American consumers. In an interview with Auto Express, CEO of SsangYong, Johng-sik Choi said “We will be developing a new D-segment global monocoque platform to build a D-SUV and D-MPV in the next five years.”
SsangYong wants this new SUV to seat seven passengers and rival models like the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Hyundai Santa Fe. We could see the Hyundai as a rival, but the Land Rover seems a bit out of reach. Choi says that “SsangYong has 65 years of brand heritage, coming from a body-on-frame chassis and diesel engines.” The company wants to expand production to 500,000 units per year using technology from parent company Mahindra and LG. The brand also showed off what a future seven-seat SUV could look like with the LIV-2 concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. If SsangYong were to ever compete with Land Rover, this would be the model to do it.
The LIV-2 is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel with 178 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque with a seven-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic. SsangYong also has a 2.0-liter GDi turbocharged gas engine with 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. We likely won't see this seven-seat SUV for a few years, but it looks like SsangYong is very serious about becoming more upscale and luxurious.