Putting the stretch on


A fter a sensational first six months of the year, with sales 356 per cent up on the same time last year, SsangYong has introduced a stretched version of its Chairman luxury sedan.


Most of the 269 new SsangYong vehicles registered so far this year have been 4x4s and people-movers, so sales of the new limo are unlikely to corrupt sales of existing products. Incidentally, sales to July last year were just 59 units.

There are smatterings of old Mercedes-Benz styling elements throughout the Korean's exterior, and in its home country, in both wheelbase sizes, the luxury SsangYong competes hard with Hyundai's similarly-sized Equus model in the embassy, government and VIP market. The model is also high on the must-have list for Korean weddings

The Chairman limousine is a quarter of a metre longer in the wheelbase than the standard car, the difference externally being a dark, gold laurel-leafed centre panel between the front and rear doors. The distance between the back of the front seats and the rear seats has been lengthened to provide greater legroom and ease of entry for its chauffeur-driven passengers.

The Chairman is powered by a Mercedes-Benz derived and license- built 24-valve, DOHC, 3.2 litre straight, six-cylinder fuel-injected petrol engine, driving through a five-speed automatic transmission also linked with the German company.

The stretched Chairman is standard with leather seats, privacy glass, electronically controlled suspension, power windows and mirrors, a leather-covered seat- back table, roller blinds for rear side windows and deluxe audio with 10 speakers and a six-CD autochanger.

It also has steering wheel and rear armrest audio system controls, ABS braking, traction control, cruise control, side airbags, variable air purification conditioning, a radar-type rear parking system, and an auto- dimming rear view mirror.


- Source 27, 2005) -