Ssangyong has unveiled the next-gen Rexton before its debut at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show. The next-gen Rexton is based on the Ssangyong LIV-2 concept revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Most of the design cues from the LIV-2 concept have been retained, but with redesigned bumpers, headlamps and new alloys, just to make it production ready.
It will be a 7-seater SUV with new interiors. The interiors of the next-gen Rexton will feature Apple Carplay and Android Auto with device mirroring, 3D Around View Monitoring (AVM) and a 9.2-inch HD screen.
Safety too has been taken care of, as the next-gen Rexton features nine airbags and a body construction which Ssangyong claims to be a world first, "Quad-Frame body structure made with 1.5Gpa giga-steel with 63% advanced high strength steel (AHSS)", to create a strong and rigid body while reducing weight. The new Rexton measures 4,850mm long, 1,920mm wide, 1,800mm high, and has a 2,865mm wheelbase.
The powertrain details of the new Rexton have not yet been revealed. For the international market, Ssangyong might stick to the engine options which were initially specified for the LIV-2 concept. The next-gen Rexton will be launched in India by the end of this year. However, the new SUV will not be coming to India as is. The new Ssangyong Rexton may be badge-engineered by Mahindra for the Indian market, and may also feature a few India-specific design tweaks. The design elements may look more in line with the Mahindra product line-up. The new Rexton may sit above the XUV 500, taking up the role of the flagship SUV in the Mahindra portfolio.
For the Indian market, the new Rexton is likely to be powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine with an output of 186PS and 420Nm. This engine will be mated to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Mahindra and Ssangyong have also developed an all-new engine family together, which will power their future range of vehicles. More details on the same are not yet available at the moment.
With the new Rexton, Mahindra will be targeting the new Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. Mahindra will try to play the pricing card here, and peg the new Rexton as a less-expensive alternative to its rivals, and sources say that it could undercut the Toyota Fortuner by upto Rs 4-5 lakh.
Ssangyong is set to invest US$ 1 billion in product development over the next four years. While India might not see any product of that investment directly, we will definitely be seeing some benefit through parent company Mahindra's products. Pawan Goenka, the MD of Mahindra stated that the X100 platform which currently underpins the Ssangyong Tivoli would underpin future Mahindra products. Mahindra would be licensing it from Ssangyong.
In other news, Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra group has confirmed that Mahindra and Pininfarina would together be developing a high performance EV. The new EV will be used by Mahindra to enter the highly competitive American automotive market. Mahindra will be using its experience from racing in Formula E, in the development of this Pininfarina branded high performance EV.
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