Now with some budget to play with since being taken over by Mahindra, Ssangyong is forging along its bold new path which, on the one hand means more stylish and acceptable design and on the other entails moving away from rugged, bakkie-like mechanicals to a more car-like engineering approach.
As much as this may upset traditionalists, the South Korean SUV specialist will most certainly win more fans among urban dwellers and the new XIV-1 concept car is a perfect indication of how the company intends to do this.
A size smaller than the new Korando that was recently released in South Africa, the XIV-1 is billed as a premium CUV (crossover utility vehicle) and although its name might sound like a disease, it actually stands for “Exciting User Interface Vehicle.” If you think that sounds too much like a cell phone advert you'd be on the money as the XIV-1 enables two-way communication between the driver and vehicle through the use of devices such as smart phones - although Ssangyong has not elaborated on how this is achieved.
Also boasting a rather versatile interior, all seats inside can move and turn to satisfy the specific privacy and communication requirements of each passenger. Other design novelties include pillarless coach doors and full glass roof.
Delighted with this latest design, a Ssangyong spokesperson describes the concept as follows: “The XIV-1 focuses on realising a future-oriented design based on our heritage, and is based on our product philosophy of 'Robust, Specialty, and Premium.'
“We believe that the vehicle created, based on a simple, dynamic and strong aesthetic value, will show the supremacy of our ingenious design.” he concluded.