This world premiere took place in the company of Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra, Johng-sik Choi, CEO of SsangYong Motor and international guests.
Unveiling the new car, Johng-sik Choi said: "Following the launch of Tivoli which set new standards for compact SUVs, the new Rexton will confirm SsangYong as a leading producer of large premium SUVs with traditional 4x4 values.
"We plan to build a full line-up of SUVs by introducing a new product every year over the next few years, including a brand-new pick-up truck. We will also focus our resources on creating further growth by developing an EV and other eco-friendly vehicles for the future."
As a new and authentic SUV, Rexton will help SsangYong re-establish its brand internationally, and draws on the original Rexton for its iconic flagship status.
With growing demand from around the world for cars with strong off-road driving performance and good towing capabilities to meet the growth in leisure interests, SsangYong expects to see further applications of its body-on-frame, front engine/rear drive layout in large SUVs. This will further consolidate the company's reputation as a specialist SUV manufacturer.
The new car embodies robust and dynamic SUV styling and blends drivability with high levels of safety that includes nine airbags. With a front mounted engine, rear-wheel drive and 4x4, Rexton will be a class-leading contender. It will offer excellent driving characteristics on and off-road, balanced weight distribution, great towing capability and good NVH performance.
SsangYong expects this new generation Rexton to compete with traditional D & E segment SUVs, and will continue the renewal of SsangYong's brand identity which began with the launch of Tivoli. Inheriting the DNA of the original Rexton flagship, it will also further underpin the company's reputation as Korea's oldest vehicle manufacturer and only 4x4 and SUV specialist producer.
Developed under the project name of Y400 and seen as the LIV-2 concept at the Paris motor show in September 2016, the new car will be known internationally as Rexton, and G4 Rexton in Korea. The car takes its inspiration from the 'Dignified Motion' of SsangYong's design language, 'Nature-born 3 Motion'.
The look of this strong, authentic SUV is informed by restrained sensitivity. This fresh, modern and appealing style has been created through the fusion of its robust, dignified body, dramatic-look air intakes, and a cohesive appearance at the front that blends the grille and headlights seamlessly.
The radiator grille resembles the spread wings of a bird in flight - first seen on Tivoli and symbolising liberty and freedom, and this new front end design will now be shared across all future SsangYong models to create a distinctive and recognisable new identity for the marque.
Additionally, the strong character lines on the car's side - especially towards the back where they rise up towards the rear bumper, and again first seen on the Tivoli, will also become another styling cue for SsangYong.
The smooth A-pillar and wide D-pillar show a contrast to give a pleasant yet strong image. Furthermore, Rexton is the first SUV in the domestic market to offer 20-inch wheels, adding to the stylish and luxurious look. Daytime running lights and LED fog, side and indicator lights add to this premium image.
With a refined and luxurious interior, there is a choice of seat styles including full leather seats trimmed in high grade Nappa leather, complete with a memory system to save the driver's preferred seat and door mirror positions. A luxurious quilted stitch seat pattern also helps to hold the body in position, while aiding passenger comfort.
There is a high level of passenger convenience and the largest load space in the segment thanks to optimised interior space design. This wide interior ensures the highest levels of comfort for passengers, and the only model in its segment that can carry rear seat passengers and four golf bags in the boot.
The Rexton powertrain employs a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine and Mercedes-Benz 7-speed automatic transmission. This highly efficient and quiet e-XDi220 engine delivers progressive acceleration from a standing start, and a strong low end torque typical of SsangYong engines.
The Mercedes-Benz 7-speed automatic transmission, renowned for its smooth performance and durability also responds quickly for more dynamic driving.
A highly efficient 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine will also be offered, matched to an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission.
The car's 4-wheel drive system draws on SsangYong's years of experience in 4WD technology. With rear wheel drive under normal driving conditions for comfort and fuel efficiency, there is also 4WD with high/low ratios for when on and off-road conditions demand. A combination of double wishbone suspension at the front and multi-link independent suspension at the rear ensures a high level of driving stability.
The Rexton will be one of the safest cars in its class, with nine airbags including knee-airbag for the driver and side-airbags in the rear.
Constructed using a quad-frame body structure using 1.5Gpa-grade high-strength steel - a world first, it also features 63% advanced high strength steel to create greatly improved body strength while reducing weight. Advanced driver assistance systems include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and a Front Vehicle Start Alarm to ensure optimum safety for passengers. 3D Around View Monitoring is featured for the first time in its domestic market to provide a clear view of the area surrounding the car to increase safety and driver convenience during low-speed driving and parking.
An advanced infotainment system is installed in the car, and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with device mirroring, with everything including navigation displayed in HD on a wide 9.20-inch screen. With excellent connectivity, it ensures quality entertainment and enjoyment on the move.
Other features include Auto Closing (the doors lock automatically when the key is carried away from the car), Easy Access (the driver's seat position is automatically adjusted for easy access when the door opens), high-performing, dual-zone fully automated air-conditioning that filters even fine dust, a 220V/115V inverter in the load area, and a 'smart tailgate' for added convenience when loading and unloading the boot. (This automatically opens the tailgate when holding the key next to the car for more than three seconds).
Rexton is 4,850mm long, 1,920mm wide, 1,800mm high, and has a 2,865mm wheelbase.
The car will go on sale in Korea during the first half of this year, and internationally before the end of 2017.
Text and photos: SsangYong