Korea's SsangYong teases its new EV

All-new model set for release in Australia.

Korean car maker SsangYong Motor has teased an all-new electric vehicle (EV), which the company says is scheduled for release in the first half of 2021. 

The teased images reveal a mid-sized SUV featuring a sophisticated but fairly conventional new look from a brand that has often courted controversy for its polarising design. 

Few could forget the SsangYong Stavic, which has frequently appeared on tongue-in-cheek lists of the world’s ugliest cars. 

Fortunately, the new model, which has been developed under the project code name E100, features a more sophisticated look that, while somewhat less adventurous, is unlikely to ruffle feathers ahead of its launch next year.

SsangYong EV sneak peek.

A media release from SsangYong said the mid-sized family SUV would offer spacious accommodation and versatility, along with a new approach to body design, while utilising the latest materials to maximise efficiency. 

The company also confirmed the E100 was a global model and had been developed and tested in various environments, including Australia.

As best we can tell from the supplied sketches, the design features generous proportions with an aerodynamic profile and characteristic sealed front grille of modern EVs. 

SsangYong said the new model was developed with maximised energy efficiency in mind and featured light-weight materials in its construction, including an all-aluminium bonnet.

There were no other technical details released about what will be the company’s first EV, and SsangYong is yet to confirm details or introduction dates to the Australian market. 

However, UK website Auto Express has previously reported the E100 will feature a 61.5kWh LG battery pack that should enable a range of about 420km. 

SsangYong Australia chief operating officer Chris Mandile said he was  enthusiastic about the new vehicle and its potential for introduction into the local portfolio.

SsangYong Motor is Korea’s fourth largest car maker after Hyundai, Kia and General Motors (formerly Daewoo Motor), and has been majority owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra since 2011. 

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The company first established a foothold in Australia in 1993 with the Mercedes-Benz-powered Musso 4x4, but failed to keep pace with Kia and Hyundai, who rapidly developed more extensive model lines. 

In 2016, then third-party importer Ateco Automotive ceased selling SsangYong locally and the brand was absent from Australia for two years, before returning in November 2018 as a wholly factory-run operation. 

The brand’s current model line-up encompasses a range of well-equipped and keenly priced SUVs, including the Tivoli, Korando and Rexton, as well as the Musso dual cab ute.  

So far this year SsangYong has sold a total of 656 vehicles, representing just 0.1% market share, well behind Hyundai and Kia, on 7% and 6% share respectively.