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by George Skentzos

SsangYong has earned an unwanted reputation as the maker of some of the most visually-challenged cars on the market – but that could be about to change.

The brand has unveiled the first rendering of its new C200 urban compact SUV concept which will make its official debut at the Paris motor show.

The C200 is powered by a 130kW 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to a new six-speed manual transmission.

While the concept uses SsangYong’s intelligent full-time four-wheel drive technology, the production model is likely to feature a two-wheel drive model in its range – a first for the brand – to enhance customer choice.

SsangYong also promises the C200 will be environment-friendly, with low CO2 emissions which meet the EURO V European exhaust emissions regulations.

This is the first of no doubt many new models from SsangYong aimed at turning the struggling brand around – who would have guessed all they had to do was hire a designer?

It also shows the strong influences of SsangYong’s Chinese owners who will use the Korean maker to infiltrate a range of Chinese based vehicles onto the worldwide market.

  • http://deleted Alex

    Wow! Thats a real step up. Almost… desirable.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jack Fast

    I’m surprised this brand is still alive. They have always been ugly and the only reason they ever sold in the 1990’s was their association with Mercedes Benz (they used Mercedes engines and gearbox – I think). If they could still promote that fact as I understand that they still use them, albeit older version, then they might sell. But even that’s debatable given the fantastic SUV product from Subaru, Mitsubishi, VW and just about every other manufacturer. These guys will have to step up big time just to get a look in!!

  • o

    you will still manage to stuff it up Ssangyoung

  • Baji

    Looks okay as a concept, but im sure when it goes into production, it’d look really plain. Even the concept looks a bit like a suzuki grand vitara from the front. Theres also bits of Kia in the design. But oh well, its a good step up from the other rubbish they’ve been making.

  • Andrew M

    i can see nissan Murano in it

  • http://AustralianCarAdvice The Salesman

    I bet the price will be right.
    Now we are buying more new cars in Australia we should start seeing more products from around the world and increased competition. Isn’t Ssangyong owned by a Chinese company and manufactured in Korea? And is Mercedes technology under the bonnet?

  • Peter

    Might make people be proud to own a Ssangyoong.

    I laugh inside when I see a ‘Mercedes Ssangyong’ Musso.

  • Reckless1

    Don’t get too carried away – they haven’t shown the rear view……….

  • Tomas79

    I don’t have anything against ssang yong, apart from the fact they are fugly, but it is sad how often i have seen one, especially the musso drive around with a Merc badge !! Who the hell are they fooling?? Just because it bought licence for some of Merc components.. Which probably have dated already anyway, does not make it MERC!!
    On par with muppets replacing the holden badges on their commodores, with chevy ones!

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au David Twomey

    Most SsangYong engines are made at a Mercedes-Benz plant in South Africa and increasing the transmissions are a six-speed made in Australia, although some still use Merc five-speed.
    SsangYong is indeed Chinese owned and will be used increasingly to infiltrate Chinese developed product onto the world market.
    Expect a new mid-size sedan from them next year. Why do they sell, price,price and oh yes, did I mention price!
    People who buy them, and there are plenty of Government Departments buying them because they have diesel engines and all the right safety equipment, do so because of price and quipment levels!

  • YourOpinionsAintSh*t

    The reason for this company staying afloat would be mostly Asian buyers. Think about it. Who else would be caught dead in a Stavic?
    This model looks like they are attempting to broaden their appeal with some Honda cues. Execution is O.K.. but side resembles a previous-gen Rav4 and I suspect this would age quickly.

  • Captain Mainwaring

    I’ll never forget former distributor Russell Burling raving about the yet-to-be-announced Kyron as the answer to the BMW X3. Then about a year later I drove one and found it to be not quite the answer to a 10 year old Toyota Prado.
    Then he launched the hideous Actyon, and the only positive thing about this is that BMW copied the idea (and the styling) for the X6.
    Understandable enthusiasm from distributors and self-justifying owners does not a memorable brand make, but at least that new concept could become the best-looking Ssangyong ever (not that the hurdle is that high).

  • Iz

    Line this drawing up against what they have now and I guarantee you you’d keep looking straight past it.

    It just looks BORING. Their “ugly” cars are different at least..

  • azza85

    Why are the side mirrors so narrow? Otherwise, it looks ok, but nothing too dramatically appealing.

  • greenmatt

    Looks like they got early pictures of the chevy volt.

  • Bret

    When I first looked at the picture, it reminded me of something else, maybe elements copied from someone else – then the article goes on to say the “Chinese” owned Ssangyong: ‘nough said.

  • Tony Pikus

    Re the comments about the Mercs badge on the back of some of the the SSangyongs – Well Merc Benz put them there, in the time that they sold SSangyongs out of their own showrooms.