SsangYong’s new electric SUV has been spied almost completely undisguised.
The J100, previewed in 2021 in sketch form, will likely be the brand’s first model launch under new ownership.
The leaked photo was published on the Woopa TV YouTube channel.
Given how far along it looks, a reveal this year seems likely. Expect the J100 codename to also make way for something else.
The transition from design sketch to production model has been smooth, with the boxy styling largely unchanged.
That includes a large octagonal area on the tailgate containing the licence plate, simulating the kind of spare tyre carrier you’d see on a rugged four-wheel drive.
The tan body colour of this example is contrasted with a silver colour on this hump, as well as on the rear spoiler, C-pillar treatment, rear bumper, and roof rails.
Vertically-oriented tail lights have a trailing edge reminiscent of the outgoing Range Rover, while the alloy wheels feature an intricate design.
The overall look is designed to look more rugged and in-your-face than tamer SsangYong fare like the Korando.
It’s possible, however, this J100 will feature a more car-like unibody architecture, like the Korando, instead of body-on-frame construction like the Rexton.
We don’t yet know what size battery the production J100 will use, nor what outputs the electric motor(s) will have.
In addition to the J100, the company has more recently released sketches of an SUV called the KR10, which features bulging fenders and a sliding canvas roof for a rugged-looking style in the vein of a Ford Bronco.
SsangYong calls the five-door SUV a spiritual successor to the Korando – no, not the current crossover, but rather the unusually-styled, body-on-frame three-door SUV that wore the name prior, which replaced a vehicle derived from the Jeep CJ-5.
The company’s new owner reportedly has ambitious plans to produce 10 new electric models by the end of 2022, 20 by 2025, and 30 by 2030. Those lofty numbers suggest it’s referring to individual variants and not model lines.
The J100 won’t be SsangYong’s first electric SUV, with the company having already revealed an electric version of the mid-sized Korando called the Korando E-Motion.
The electric crossover uses a 61.5kWh battery and a front-mounted electric motor with 140kW of power, with a claimed WLTP range of 339km.
It goes on sale in Europe early this year, though it remains “under study” for Australia.
“A Korando e-Motion evaluation vehicle will arrive here early in 2022 for us to carry out assessment activities,” added a spokesperson for SsangYong Australia. “More details will follow this activity.”
Earlier this month, a Seoul court approved the acquisition of SsangYong by a consortium led by Korean electric bus manufacturer Edison Motors Co.
Edison has agreed to pay 304.8 billion won (A$354.73 million) for the troubled automaker, and has already paid 10 per cent of this, according to a report from Korean news agency Yonhap.
The acquisition money will reportedly be used to repay some of SsangYong’s debt to financial institutions, though the exact amount of overall debt hasn’t been publicly disclosed.
Edison will in turn lend 50 billion won (A$58 million) in operating capital to help keep SsangYong afloat.
SsangYong’s new parent hasn’t been handed the keys just yet, as Yonhap reports SsangYong will remain under court receivership until Edison’s rehabilitation plans for the company are approved.
The company will reportedly submit its plans to the court by March 1, though in the meantime SsangYong and Edison are said to have signed the final deal for the acquisition.
Edison also plans to set up a special purpose company to raise between 800 billion and 1 trillion won (A$930 million to $1.16 trillion) in investment for SsangYong, whether that be in the form of foreign investments, a rights issue, bond issuance, or loans.
It says it has “no problems in raising necessary funds” and is aiming to do this and turn the troubling automaker aside within three to five years, refocusing it as an electric vehicle manufacturer.