Stretched Musso ute is longer than a HiLux, and due in Australia around April

The SsangYong Musso ute range has been expanded — figuratively and literally — with a new long wheelbase (LWB) model due to touch down in Australia around April this year.

The LWB version of the macho pickup is 310mm longer than the ‘regular’ version that went on sale late in 2018, increasing the length to 5.4 metres, 70mm longer than a Toyota HiLux dual-cab. The new LWB Musso is also 15mm higher than the SWB one, while the wheelbase extends 110mm.

SsangYong claims the LWB Musso has “one of the biggest load spaces in the market”, and increases the maximum payload by 30 per cent, from 790kg to 1020kg, thanks to the addition of load-hauling rear leaf springs in place of the SWB’s road-comfort-oriented coils.

The LWB Musso will use the same 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine as the SWB version, though torque has been increased from 400Nm to 420Nm, still arriving at 1400rpm. Whether it retains the SWB’s homologated 3.0t tow rating remains to be seen, though given the high GCM figure we’d suggest it’d be feasible.

Stylistic changes beyond the longer wheelbase and tray include the new grille, apparently “inspired by the historic Parthenon temple of ancient Greece”. Ok then…

SsangYong Australia managing director Tim Smith said the LWB version would arrive in Australian showrooms early in the second quarter of 2019.

“We’re very excited for the possibilities the LWB Musso will provide the brand here in Australia,” he said. “The response from dealers and customers to SWB Musso has been outstanding, but we are already fielding numerous inquiries for the LWB.

“We’re still locking down pricing but, as we demonstrated with the SWB version, we’re confident Australian customers can expect fantastic value for money.”

The SWB Musso dual-cab range is priced between $30,490 and $39,990 before on-road costs. The LWB will likely cost a few grand more.

The vehicle has been launched in Korea as the ‘Khan’, named after the famed Mongolian dynasty of the 13th century. Smith said the Australian subsidiary was still working through what the vehicle will be called here.

He confirmed the LWB version would be available in three trims like its SWB sibling – EX, ELX and Ultimate.

All versions will come standard with autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning. The ELX will add blind spot detection, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert, while the range topping Ultimate will come with a 360-degree camera.

Read our review of the SWB Musso here.