Mahindra Ssangyong is coming up with its second Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Korando C in the Indian auto market by the end of 2013. Korean auto maker, which was later taken over by Mahindra and Mahindra, has been producing SUVs with the tag name of Korando since 1983 and has released around five generations of the said vehicle. The present generation Korando (stands for Korea Can Do), dubbing the C, was released at the 2010 Busan Motor Show and was designed by Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro of the Italdesign fame.
Initially this SUV came with the 2.0-litre Isuzu engine, but was later replaced by a 2.3-litre Mercedes-Benz powertrian. And with Mahindra taking over the Korean manufacturer, it was thought that this would be the first model to be released in the Indian market, but somehow Rexton W, the seven-seater was given the priority. The Korando is a genuine five-seater SUV with looks and styling that is aggressive as well as chic. The most distinguishable features are the angular lines of the face bumper and intense wheel arches. The hexagonal fog lamps complement the double section grille on which is placed a large SsangYong emblem. The headlights are wraparound and LED based that will remain as the standard when the car will be launched in India. At the rear, the Korando C gets dual chrome exhausts, high mounted stop light, rear spoiler and a black plastic cladding along all four sides.
On the inside, Korando like any other Korean car is rich in attributes and features. It has a touch screen sat-nav system, along with mounted on-steering audio controls. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), two safety airbags, cruise control, alloy wheels, four-wheel drive and climate control system. The Korando, at 4.4 X 1.83 (LXW), is powered by turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine, whic has the potential to belt out a maximum power of 175 bhp and 360 Nm of highest torque. Available with the option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, plus an optional front wheel-drive and permanent all-wheel-drive.
Just like the Rexton W, which is currently being manufactured with 22 per cent localisation, the Korando too is planned to be produced in similar manner at Mahindra's Chakan plant. Allowing the SUV maker to keep the price of the crossover in the Rs. 15-20 lakh band, and offer it as a competitively priced model when compared to rival SUVs like the Chevrolet Captiva, Renault Koleos and the lesser known Skoda Yeti. Once the Korando gets released, we can surely take it for granted that Mahindra will experiment by incorporating many of the features, accessories and components of current Korando into its own future models.