SsangYong takes on Bronco, Wrangler with new off-roader
With the Jeep Wrangler as popular these days as ever, the Ford Bronco quickly becoming a marketing phenomena, and waiting lists worldwide for the little Suzuki Jimny, the off-roader four-wheel drive segment is absolutely pumping.
Now, SsangYong have indicated a desire to enter the fray. The Korean firm has released a series of illustrations of a design project it has in the works called the X200.
The X200 appears to have the Wrangler’s number in particular, featuring a similar vertical-slot grille and rounded headlights. The light cluster designs, unique tailgate, and proportions do enough to give the model a distinct flavour. In illustration form, anyway.
The proportions are tough to figure from the drawing (the project is in its early stages, it seems), but the model appears to be smaller than some of the aforementioned names — maybe sitting between the Jimny and the Wrangler.
Aggressive boxed arches give each wheel a prime position on the corner of the X200; positioning that’s sure to aid its off-road ability. The design as a whole is part of SsangYong’s new ‘Powered by Toughness’ philosophy.
The neatest feature is probably the retractable soft top. Sitting between the roof rails, it’s a simpler, cheaper alternative to the dismantlable roofs offered in the Wrangler and Bronco. Nevertheless, we can imagine it being right fun while out and about in the wilderness.
And if the heavens suddenly open it’ll be easier to close, too.
Should it become a reality, it’s tipped that the X200 will have some kind of electrified powertrain under the skin — either in the form of a hybrid or full electrification. SsangYong says the model will feature “eco-friendly” engines, fueling the theory.
It’s not the first time SsangYong has issued something with clear Jeep inspiration. The first-generation Korando looked like a Willys reproduction, and the second-gen Korando looked a little like a Wrangler from the future.
It’s still unclear whether the plucky Korean marque is in the financial clear. It’s been reported that it defaulted on loans to several financial institutions earlier this month, confirmed plans to close the doors on its Pyongtaek facility, and benched half its workforce.
With projects like this and its electric Rhino in the pipeline, we hope it can persevere.