SsangYong planning rugged Suzuki Jimny rival
Based on a stretched version of Tivoli’s platform, rougher tougher SUV will give SsangYong an off-road icon of its own
SsangYong might have only sold 1,800 cars in the UK last year, but it was the third fastest growing brand behind MG and Maserati. And the rise of the Korean manufacturer looks set to continue with the arrival of the new Nissan Juke-rivalling Tivoli at the Geneva Motor Show this week, and a host of new products in the pipeline. The most fascinating future model will be a larger and more overtly off-road-biased SUV, based on a stretched version of the Tivoli’s platform, Auto Express has learned. Like the iconic Suzuki Jimny, due for replacement in 2017, the unnamed model will offer genuine mud-plugging ability, utilitarian looks and come with an affordable price tag in line with the rest of SsangYong’s range. Although the Tivoli will be available with a choice of two and four-wheel drive, SsangYong is keen to establish itself as a manufacturer of rugged, affordable and largely four-wheel-drive cars – and a Jimny rival is the perfect way to bolster that image. Expect it to be launched with the same 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines as the Tivoli, and four-wheel drive as standard.
As an example of the relationship between the Tivoli and this newcomer, our inside source pointed us towards the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X – two cars that use the same underpinnings but have entirely separate characters. As for a timeframe, expect it to appear by 2018, by which time SsangYong is aiming for global sales of 300,000 – more than double its 2014 total. SsangYong predicts the Tivoli will account for 100,000 annual sales on its own from 2016 onwards. A host of other models are also on the way, including a small MPV also based on the Tivoli platform, a larger replacement for the Korando (to create some distance between it and the Tivoli) and replacements for the Turismo MPV, Korando Sports pick-up and full-size Rexton SUV.
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