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by Brett Davis

SsangYong has unveiled the SsangYong XIV-1 Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The ‘eXciting user Interface Vehicle’ is an urban SUV that showcases various technologies which heighten the interaction between the vehicle and its passengers.

At first, the SsangYong XIV-1 Concept was developed as a design study and as an insight into what to expect from the Korean manufacturer in the future. SsangYong describes the XIV-1 as “premium crossover utility vehicle” while also presenting a sporty theme, similar to the Range Rover Evoque.

Plans have now been announced as part of a $12 billion deal with Mahindra to see through the development of an XIV-1 production vehicle. Although it is a little early for definite specifications, the SsangYong XIV-1 Concept features a number of fresh, interesting and futuristic elements to the small SUV segment.

At the front there’s a wrap-around windscreen which blends into the side windows, while a raising door line flows up towards the rear pillars leaving a sporty coupe look. The concept also feautures a glass panoramic roof as well as those hard-to-miss front and rear doors which open up like French doors, leaving an open, pillar-less view of the inside.

The SsangYong XIV-1 interior showcases blue LED lighting, a large central touchscreen panel for most media and comfort controls, while all surfaces and contours present a futuristic theme. SsangYong spoke about the interior, which it says is the highlight of the XIV-1:

“The user interface embraces the concept of an extended living space rather than providing just a means of transport. Control of many of SsangYong XIV-1 Concept functions is via the interaction of smart mobile devices and the vehicle itself.

“Using the kind of devices that the driver and passengers are likely to be carrying at all times, they can control everything from the audio system, the display of information on the dashboard and online communications.”

We’ll be sure to provide more updates on the production version of the SsangYong XIV-1 as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, what do you think of the design of the new concept? Is it something you would like to see hit the market?