[THE INVESTOR] SsangYong Motor
's latest flagship SUV G4 Rexton is enjoying popularity for safety, high-performance and upgraded driving experience in Korea ahead of its global launch.
Since its release in May, the large premium SUV is receiving a strong response, selling 2,703 units out of 7,500 preorders made in the first month. Related:
SsangYong sets 20,000 sales target for G4 Rexton
Following the crucial debut, the carmaker, owned by Indian auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra, is seeking to cement its position in the burgeoning large SUV market, known as the E-segment.
The large SUV segment grew at a slower pace than other smaller SUVs in the domestic market mainly due to a lack of model offerings.
G4 Rexton, after 42 months of development, is SsangYong’s answer to add a competitive model to top the segment, which is expected to grow fast fueled by increasing outdoor leisure activities.
G4 Rexton -- with goals to sell more than 20,000 units this year and 30,000 units next year -- is expected to drive its large SUV segment.
SsangYong’s confidence is derived from the car’s high technology offered at a competitive price tag.
“G4 Rexton, based on four-wheel drive, is armed with high-end safety features and technical specifications. The advanced high-strength steel for its body-on-frame chassis delivers optimal weight, safety and driving experience,” said Lee Soo-won, SsangYong Motor executive managing director. “This car is the best choice for drivers who enjoy outdoor activities for its excellent on- and off-road capabilities.”
When getting behind the wheel of G4 Rexton for a test drive, the large SUV lived up to everything the carmaker has been touting about its flagship.
G4 Rexton, equipped with a 2.2-liter diesel power engine, delivers a maximum of 187 horsepower with 42.8 kg-m torque that runs comfortably at a high speed, while the engine’s perfect combination with Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed auto transmission allows a more stable shift.
The car’s power thrived even more on the off-pavement, as it ran smooth on the rocky and muddy terrain, with the suspension tolerating shocks from the extreme road conditions.
The steering is quite light, making it easier to drive, while the driving experience overall has been enhanced with impressively low noise levels for a diesel engine.
From the exterior, the car has the right proportions that gives it harmony, which the automaker said is inspired by the ancient Greek Parthenon’s ideal balance and symmetry. The car is sleek and modern while maintaining its masculine and aggressive styling. Its well-trimmed cabin inside, adds the maturity and luxury to the premium car.
“The beginning of G4 Rexton started with an ambition to roll out the safest car,” said Lee Won-sang, SsangYong Motor director in charge of vehicle design.
Its body-on-frame-chassis, referred to as “quad frame,” is made with advanced high-strength steel by POSCO, to deliver maximum safety for drivers and passengers alike.
G4 Rexton is the first car globally to be armed with ultrahigh-tensile strength giga steel rated at 1.5 gigapascals, which is stronger but lighter than its predecessors.
SsangYong, upon its success with the compact SUV Tivoli, believes its premium G4 Rexon will drive sales to secure sustainable growth.
“SsangYong is in the resurgent phase. With the launch of the G4 Rexton, we are reentering the world of luxury SUV,” Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said at the global debut of the car at the Seoul Motor Show in March, adding G4 Rexton signals the “return of the king” in the SUV segment.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org