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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.