Ssangyong Wz concept (2007): first official pictures

Published: 11 September 2007

Really, a good looking Ssangyong?

Compared to an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, no. But if you compare the Wz concept to Ssangyong’s previous offerings then it’s a bit of a stunner. Apparently it’s also the company’s first sporting saloon as the company moves away from its 4x4 heartland. Together with SAIC (yes, that SAIC of Rover fame) the two companies plan to jointly develop 30 new models, five new engines and five new platforms.

Is the Wz a sports saloon?

That depends on how imaginative you can be. At 5080mm long it’s 1mm longer than an S-class. So even with a twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 and 360bhp it doesn’t sound that sporty. Combine that with the fact that the Wz is supposed to be equipped with a lane departure warning system, air suspension, all-wheel drive, and adaptive cruise control, and it won’t exactly be a featherweight. Not that we’ve actually seen any of the technology yet. Forgive us for being harsh but when Ssangyong tells us it wishes to take on the very best luxury saloons in the world, it needs some bite to back up its bark. Then again a decade ago Kia was nothing and by 2010 it will be selling five million cars per year.

Anything else from Ssangyong?

There was a new Kyron at Frankfurt, but it’s so ugly we won’t show you the photos. We’re supposed to be objective but trust us one this. What was more intriguing was getting to see the production version of the Actyon that was previewed at Paris last year. It’s a ‘coupe SUV’ and as it’s already in production Ssangyong seems to have beaten BMW to the punch. It doesn’t make it a good looking car though, thanks especially to the shark-like nose and ‘eagle-eyes’ headlights.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy