Korean automaker Ssangyong releases teaser images of its XAVL Concept 7-seat SUV ahead of its debut at next month’s Geneva Auto Show.
A spokesman tells WardsAuto that while it is just a concept for now, if the XAVL goes into production it will be “larger than the compact Korando SUV and a little smaller than the midsize Rexton SUV.”
Some in the industry see the XAVL as a possible future competitor for Hyundai’s Santa Fe and its Kia cousin, the Sorento, but Ssangyong is mum on production plans. More details will be revealed March 9 in Geneva.
If produced it would be Ssangyong’s second long-body SUV, following the extended-length version of the best-selling Tivoli that launched last year.
XAVL stands for Exciting Authentic Vehicle Long, a play on the XAV concept introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.
Ssangyong says in a statement the concept “is powered by both petrol and clean-burning diesel engines,” but the spokesman says the powertrain has not been chosen and the door could be open to hybrids and other propulsion systems.
The XAVL concept has 3-row seating. It will have many autonomous safety features to protect both occupants and pedestrians as well as the space and comfort features of an MPV in a traditional SUV package.
Styling is more dramatic than that of the current Rexton, but perhaps less so than that of the coming ʼ18 Rexton Y-400 that took its design cues from the LIV-1 concept. The updated LIV-2 concept shown at the 2016 Paris auto show is said to be very close to the new production version.
Ssangyong says the XAVL is inspired by the second-generation Korando, a Jeep-type SUV that was marketed from 1996 to 2006, when it was replaced by the third-generation C200 version.
The Korando line debuted as a mini-SUV in 1988.