Korando C or C2000 from Ssangyong by Mahindra in Inda
Assuming Mahindra is able to acquire Ssangyong, what are we,, as car buyers, going to get in lndia? Well, the vehicle that we should get first could very well be the Ssangyong Rexton or the other bigger SUVs in the range. Though the one that we should eagerly wait for is Ssangyong’s newest, the C200 or the Korando C as it will, in all likelihood, be called. Unveiled for the first time as a concept at the 2008 edition of the Paris motor show, the C200 has evolved over the years to its latest incarnation – unveiled a few months ago ‘ at the 2010 Busan lnternational Motor shown – as the new Korando C concept with more aggressive styling claimed to be representative of the production version, the Korando C is a soft roader that could do very well in lndia if Mahindra – with their ‘frugal engineering – are able to bring costs down to under Rs l0 lakhs.
With an overall length of 4.4 metrics on a wheelbase of 2.65 metres the Korando C promises Honda CR-V kind of space and functionality in a slightly smaller vehicle that with its monocoque I body construction and Giugiaro design will leapfrog Mahindra into modern times – a vehicle with a more passenger car look, feel and comfort. performance wise, the Korando C looks great on paper: choice of powertrains inciude a ( new 2.O-litre turbo-diesel engine that , develops I 80bhp and 360Nm of torque, r other than a I.8 turbocharged petrol J with similar power specs. The tranny I options include an automatic and a six- I speed manual. The interior too is very modern and stylish. The platform is adaptable, and the chassis can be used for front-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive passenger cars. Extensive use of aluminium suspension components reduces weight and together with a low centre of gravity, ensures a comfortable ride with the kind of sharp and agile handling demanded by European drivers’
Though the Korando C was expected to be in Production late l45t Year’ Ssangyong’s bankruptcy seems to have aefayeO that, and in all likelihood the car will’be in production some time next year, so the availability for lndia may well be into later next year’ In the meantime, if the deal goes through’ we can expect Mahindra to launch the Rexton foi sure, mainlY as CKD assemblY’ Launched as a Daewoo waY back in 2002 (when Ssangyong was supplying the Rexton to Daewoo) the 4’72-metrelong Rexton is derived from the SsangYong Musso, with engines from Mercedes-Benz (either a choice of ‘ t ozbf,p 2.7 and 2’9 common rail diesels or a 217bhp 3’2-litre petrol)’ obviously for lndia we can very well expect Mahindra to bringin the 2’7 diesel. Alternatively, it just may be possible that the five/seven-seater Rexton may be launched in lndia with Mahindra’s own2.2 common rail unit.
The other body-on-chassis models in the range include the Kyron, the Actyon and the Rodius. The 4.66-metre-long Kyron is an old-fashioned SUV with questionable styling that was launched in 2005, then extensively revised in 2O07. Powertrains include a Merc-derived .. I41 bhp 2.0-litre diesel other than the same2.7 diesel and 3.2 petrol as in the Rexton. The r1.45-metre-long Actyon is the ‘sports activity’ version of the Kyron that wai launched in 2005, predating the ‘similar’ BMW X6 by two years. The Actyon Sports is a longer wheelbase twin-cab pick-up derivative of the Actyon. And the Rodius is an aesthetic challenging giant of an,MPV that has been around since 2004. We don’t expect Mahindra to bring in any of these to lndia, and neither do we expect them to bring in their suPer saloon, the Chairman, which ls 5.1 I metres (5.41 metres in long wheelbase form) and has been derived from the l99Os Wl 24 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.