Ssangyong will reveal a hybrid version of its mid-sized Korando SUV in the second half of 2021, following in footsteps of a pure-electric model set for debut in the second half of next year.
Regardless, Andrew Ellis, PR for Ssangyong Australia, says the company "absolutely" has its eyes on the electrified SUV, given the state of the market for pure electric vehicles locally.
"The future is eventually going to be EV, but it's going to take a change of will in the Australian people," he said, highlighting the lack of incentives for electric buyers Down Under.
The hybrid system will likely rely on a 48V starter-generator unit which, coupled with an internal-combustion engine, is able to provide a brief electric boost when extra performance is required. In current cars with a 48V MHEV system, it also allows the engine to shut down at low speeds for better economy in urban environments.
Speaking with media at the Korando launch drive in South Korea, Sanjeev Saksena, managing director of Ssangyong's export division, said the advantage of doing an electric SUV is the fact it serves a purpose in Europe and Korea, where CO2 regulations are tightening.
The electric vehicle will have 400km of range when it lobs – potentially at the Paris motor show in September 2020 – and will be capable of towing a caravan, although exact braked tow capacity hasn't been announced.
Ssangyong expects the car to be available for our market 12 months after launch, but whether the market is ready for the car is another question.
"We've been sitting here treading water [on electric vehicles] for the past four or five years now," said Ellis.
"I think it's going to be interesting post Federal Election... we might see some investment, some incentive. All the manufacturers are ready to go."
DRIVEN: 2019 Ssangyong Korando
MORE: Ssangyong news, reviews, comparisons and videos