Ssangyong's Next Rexton SUV Will Be Designed by Pininfarina - Hey, Remember the Ssangyong Rodius?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
ssangyongs next rexton suv will be designed by pininfarina hey remember the

On one end of the spectrum, there’s the Ssangyong Rodius, which actually isn’t as catastrophically designed in its second-generation form as it was from 2004 to 2013.

On the other, there’s the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina.

Somewhere in between will be the next edition of Ssangyong’s large Rexton SUV, due in the early part of the next decade and styled by one of the world’s foremost design houses.

Bentley Bentayga, BMW X4, Lexus LX570? Get in line. The Ssangyong Rexton has secured Pininfarina’s services already.

There’s a relatively straightforward explanation for the partnership. Although Pininfarina is famous for Ferrari affiliation, the firm has farmed out its services to a wide variety of automakers in the past. Credit Pininfarina for the Cadillac Allante and MGB GT, as examples. That Pininfarina would provide assistance to an automaker in need is nothing new.

On the other side of the equation, considering the degree to which Ssangyong has often been incapable of designing attractive vehicles, the help that Pininfarina can provide was sorely needed. A seeking stylist and a sad Ssangyong will always meet.

But in reality, the partnership described in CAR Magazine is a side-effect of common ownership. South Korea’s Ssangyong and Italy’s Pininfarina have been in the fold of India’s Mahindra since 2011 and 2015, respectively.

The Mahindra name, meanwhile, rings a bell because of the small, diesel-powered pickup truck rumored to be imported from India in the post-recession malaise. It didn’t happen.

Ssangyong has attempted to generate a marketplace presence in prominent car-buying regions of the world, but hasn’t yet dipped its feet into the North American arena. European sales rose to a nine-year high in 2016, but at fewer than 20,000 units across the brand, that represented just 1/10th of 1 percent of the European market. Only one out of every 10 European Ssangyong sales last year was of the Rexton variety. The smaller Tivoli utility vehicle produced more than half the brand’s volume.

Reports of a Jeep Wrangler rival to launch the brand in the U.S. have surfaced in the past. The Tivoli, meanwhile, would be the volume driver if Ssangyong ever lived up to its goal of arriving in North America by 2020. But the Pininfarina-designed Ssangyong Rexton would be the brand flagship if Ssangyong ever surfaced on this side of the Pacific.

TTAC’s free advice: change the Ssangyong name, and don’t bring the Rodius.

[Images: Ssangyong Motor]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Aug 10, 2017

    We have Ssyanyong in Australia and it's struggling. Most reviews do rave about the quality of these vehicles as they are well built. What you guys call the Rodius is called the Stavia in Australia and my step brother here owns one and swears by it as it has never given him a problem in 10 years. It has a diesel, which could be more powerful. But other than that it is comfortable inside. I have looked at the Rexton and it was not as bad a looking vehicle, it was actually quite palatable and it had a larger 2.8 litre diesel with 4x4 hi and lo. The interior was very well put together and it was much cheaper than any Toyota or Mitsubishi at the time. I hope Ssyangyong do well.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Aug 10, 2017

    I'll be. I went to the 2016 Paris Auto show last October and I saw the Concept Rexton, the LIV2. The 2018 Rexton actually looks really nice inside as well. I'm to keen on the engine choice for vehicle of it's size. And I wonder how well will this off road.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.