Indian SUV master Mahindra & Mahindra’s South Korean subsidiary, SsangYong, has started testing the fourth generation model of its Korando SUV that is likely to have its world premiere in Europe in 2019. The Korando has the same positioning in Ssangyong’s lineup as that of the XUV500 in Mahindra & Mahindra’s lineup; both are mid-sized premium SUVs.
It is already known that the Mahindra XUV500 is already getting ready for its next-gen model, and that it might be based on a new platform which is being co-developed by Mahindra with SsangYong. Thus, it is now thought that the all new Korando and the all new XUV500 will be basically twin models that will share several parts.
Platform and parts sharing saves development costs of the car makers, which in turn saves development time as well as helps to competitively price the products. Mahindra is about to launch the rebadged new-gen SsangYong Rexton in India, as in this car market SsangYong is an unheard brand name, while homegrown Mahindra is hugely popular. The new Rexton will launch in India within 2018 under the brand name. Now, it is being speculated that Mahindra might as well rebadge the next-generation Korando as the as the new XUV500, rather than developing a new model.
The next-gen SsangYong Korando is expected to come with three-row seating arrangement and will be offered in petrol, diesel, hybrid and EV models. The petrol and diesel versions of the mid-sized SUV are likely to be based on the SsangYong 7-seater XAVL concept that was displayed last year. The 2020 Korando EV is expected to take design inspiration from the 2018 e-SIV concept. However, unlike the flashy SsangYong concepts, the new-gen Korando will look matured and relatively minimalist, or so the spy pictures suggest. On the other hand, the Mahindra XUV500 styling also seems to be loud and could look more modest in its next-gen avatar.
SsangYong had mentioned earlier that the Korando will get a new 1.5L petrol and a new 1.6L diesel motor engine option. A standard 6 speed manual transmission will be joined by an optional automatic gearbox on both engines. These new engines will also be Euro 6d-Temp emission norms compliant. The European emission norms are similar to the BS VI norms of India which will come in effect from April 2020.
The second-gen Mahindra XUV500 is also expected to get equipped with these new downsized engines. Both the SUVs get 2.2 litre diesel motors at present. Thus, they are very similar in many ways. The new downsized engines don’t mean compromised performance owing to the new platform that is likely to be lighter and will help in significant weight slash.
Moreover, the new-gen Korando and the new-gen XUV500 are also expected to get endowed with similar cabin layout as well as very similar features list. The all new Korando is expected to boast of a dashboard mounted 10.25 inch touchscreen infotainment system, Wi-Fi hotspot for the second and third-rows, parking assist system and much more. Given all the similarities, we won’t really wonder if the next-gen SsangYong Korando comes to India in the guise of the all new Mahindra XUV500.