Ssangyong is storming ahead overseas where it’s rolling out new models including an electric SUV.
Back here however the Korean brand has gone into virtual hibernation.
Importer Ateco Automotive has relinquished rights to distribution which have reverted to the company, now owned by the Indian Mahindra Group.
It’s planning a relaunch of the brand in the near future, perhaps by the end of the year, with a target of 4000 sales a year.
Unfortunately, this means we’ll be forced to wait until then for the new Musso utility that has just been unveiled in the UK.
Musso which means rhinoceros was the name on the back of Ssangyong’s original ute and off road wagon when the brand entered the market way back in 1996.
Built on the same platform as the new Rexton, the new Musso ute retains a traditional ladder chassis for superior off-road performance.
Designed to carry a full tonne and passengers in comfort, it combines a five-seat dual cab body style with a workman-like load area that can transport a full-sized Euro pallet.
The box on the back measures 1300 x 1570mm and is 570mm deep.
It can carry one tonne plus and can tow trailers of up to 3.5 tonnes.
Musso is powered by the same 2.2-litre e-XDi220 turbo diesel found in the Rexton, and delivers a maximum power of 133kW of power and 420Nm of torque from a low 1600rpm.
It is available with either a 6-speed manual or Japanese Aisin 6-speed automatic.
Inside, Musso is well equipped as well as offering excellent shoulder and leg room.
Nappa leather seats can be found on the top of the range model for luxury and comfort.
DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity feature across the range, while all but the entry level model feature a state-of-the-art infotainment system that includes an 8.0-inch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Wi-Fi mirroring.
Musso features part time 4×4 system with power delivered permanently to the rear wheels, and front wheel drive dialed in electronically as required, with high and low ratios available as on and off-road conditions demand.
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been reduced thanks to eight body mounts and polyester wheel-arch linings.
The engine bay also includes better sealing to improve sound, dust and waterproofing, while the fitment of large rubber engine mounts also helps reduce engine noise and vibration.
The amount of wind noise is also reduced thanks to detailing such as fourfold door sealing and aerodynamically designed wiper blades.
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