Mahindra recently acquired the Korean SUV maker, Ssangyong Motors as a step to venture into the premium SUV segment. Mahindra has announced that it would bring the Korando and the Rexton SUVs to the market first and the company showcased the new Ssangyong Korando E at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. This was followed by an announcement that the Rexton will be launched in 2012. After the Rexton, the Korando should be introduced in early 2013. The Korando has been one of the most successful models in the Ssangyong portfolio and Mahindra wants to re-write that success story all over again with the new Korando. First launched in 1974, the Korando went to be listed in the Guinness book of World Records as the country’s longest surviving automotive brand. The Korando was the first ever self developed 4-wheel drive model to roll out of Ssangyong in 1984 and in 1996, it adopted the diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz.
The new Korando is powered by a brand new e-XDi200, a 2-litre diesel engine that delivers a power output of 175 PS and a peak torque of 360 Nm. The company claims it is one of the most refined engines developed and fitted in the Korando. The 2 litre motor is mated to a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic gearbox. Power delivery is provided either to the front wheels or all the 4 wheels depending on the variant. The 2 litre is also quite frugal with a combined cycle fuel economy of 6 litre/100 km (47 mpg) and only 157g/km of CO2 emissions. Next year, a more fuel efficient diesel and a petrol unit will be added to the powertrain portfolio.
The Korando is the first SUV in the Ssangyong portfolio to get the monocoque construction and has a keb weight of 1,672 kgs (manual version). On the safety front the car gets features like 4-channel ABS, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), an Immobilizer system, a child proof safety lock and a speed sensing dor lock among a host of other features. It rides on 16, 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels. The car also has features like ESP with hydraulic brake assist, hill start assist and active roll over protection. It gets a McPherson strut suspension at the front and a multi-link at the rear. Expect the Korando to be priced around Rs. 20 lakhs, competing with the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubish Pajero Sport.