The XAV showcases SsangYong's styling direction and intention to stick with 'true' SUVs. XAV, by the way, stands for 'eXciting Authentic SUV'.
SsangYong CEO Choi Johng-sik told CarAdvice at the show: "[XAV] embodies the direction of our new product development. It's the combination of the traditional SUV with the latest trends. We hope that this shows our firm commitment to becoming a global manufacturer of SUVs as well as the unlimited potential of Ssangyong Motor.”
Based on the Tivoli small SUV's platform, the XAV pays homage to the styling of the old Korando.
According to SsangYong, "The front end emphasises masculinity and rhythm through the connection of Ssangyong’s unique shoulder wing design with the lamps, and is based on a retro design that reinterprets the image of the early Korando models."
"The rear end of the XAV exudes the strength of a true SUV, while the exposed spare tire and auxiliary fuel tank have been transformed into a storage space for emergency tools and equipment for outdoor activities. Also, the over-sized bumper symbolises the power of an “authentic” SUV, overcoming whatever the wild throws in its path."
While it won't make it to production in precisely this form, the SsangYong XAV concept nevertheless features either a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine or 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with an e-4WD system that uses lithium-ion batteries and electric motors mounted to the front and rear wheels to assist the petrol engine.
The front electric motor produces 10kW of power (also acting as a generator), while the rear features two 30kW electric motors, all matched to a 2.1kWh lithium-ion battery set.
Under the skin, the XAV uses electronic air suspension and stereo vision, which uses sensors and cameras to enhance chassis feel and ride on rough roads.
Mr Choi told CarAdvice that "[the] XAV is a reinterpretation of the SUV", hinting that SsangYong wants to ensure its future remains deeply rooted in SUVs and off-road vehicles.
When quizzed about Australian sales, SsangYong wouldn't be drawn to comment, only to say that the Tivoli is coming to Australia and it expects the vehicle to be well received when it is launched later in the year.