The upgraded Ssangyong Rexton has been unveiled at the 2012 Busan motor show in South Korea, but production delays could mean the refreshed SUV will not arrive in Australia until 2013.
Ssangyong Australia general manager Jeff Barber said a two-month delay on Rexton production for export markets might mean the brand’s heavily updated flagship seven-seater won’t hit local showrooms until the new year.
The delays have set back the local brand’s planning for the new Rexton, with Barber confirming discussions on the final line-up are still underway.
Among the biggest upgrades to the revised model is a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. With 114kW and 367Nm, the new powerplant has 27Nm more torque than the larger 2.7-litre five-cylinder diesel in the current entry-level Rexton five-speed manual, and also promises to be around 20 per cent more fuel efficient, with preliminary measures rating it at 7.3 litres per 100km.
Barber said he drove the new Rexton in Korea late last month and described the new 2.0-litre diesel engine as “quite impressive”. It appears likely to join the new updated line-up in Australia, potentially underneath the existing 137kW 2.7-litre unit, which produces 402Nm when teamed with the five-speed automatic transmission.
Officially called the Ssangyong Rexton W (the ‘W’ stands for ‘work of art’), the updated model is the result of a 130 billion won ($113 million) investment and two and a half years of development.
The exterior styling is now sharper and more modern, sporting an assertive front-end with LED daytime running lights, mirror-mounted side indicators and a refined rear with redesigned tail-lights. Chrome and silver highlights have been added inside to brighten the cabin.
Depending on the market, new features like Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming and a smart key will also be available.
Sales of the outgoing Rexton have fallen 38.7 per cent in Australia so far this year, down from 93 to 57 compared with the first five months of 2011. The three-variant line-up ranges from $36,990 for the entry-level manual to $47,990 for the SPR automatic.