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by Jay Traugott
Small-time Korean automaker unveils its latest attempt at going green.
South Korean automaker Ssangyong may not be familiar to the North American public, but in Europe and the Far East, it's been making some decent headway into the always competitive automotive market. Funny-sounding brand name aside, SsangYong has come to this year's Paris Motor Show with a new concept that's actually a combination of two previous concept models that debuted at Frankfurt 2011 and Geneva 2012.
Both of those concepts employed eco-friendly EV technology that's made its way to the just unveiled e-XIV concept, such as a glass roof solar panel that converts solar energy to electric power, which in turn operates interior equipment like the A/C, audio system and internal lighting. Even the tires have been designed for eco driving. Like the Chevrolet Volt, the e-XIV concept has a range-extender hybrid powertrain. Power comes courtesy of an 80-kW motor that takes its power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. In addition, there's a two-cylinder gasoline engine and a 20-kW generator that kicks in once battery power is depleted.
The e-XIV is certainly an interesting design and SsangYong is trying to position itself as an eco-friendly brand. But if a possible production version resembles this concept, then SsangYong may have a future winner on its hands.