Ssangyong XAV Concept unveiled in Seoul

The XAV previews a rugged compact SUV.

While all attention has been turned to the Big Apple, Seoul has been holding its own auto show, where South Korean automakers are unveiling their latest concepts. The Ssangyong XAV is the firm's latest design study, a rugged-looking compact SUV.

With some elements that might resemble the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the XAV is actually a design throwback to the 1996 Ssangyong Korando, notable for its flared fenders and large corner lamps. While it may not have been the most expected choice for retro inspiration, the XAV does a commendable job of taking a design widely regarded as downright ugly and interpreting it in modern form.

Ssangyong says XAV stands "for eXciting Authentic Vehicle" and is designed for outdoorsy lifestyle types. One of the more notable design cues is a small lockbox integrated into the rear hatch. Clever storage options are peppered throughout the interior as well.

The concept is fitted with a 1.6L four cylinder driving the rear wheels through an automatic transmission, but an electronic 4WD system can theoretically power the front wheels as well.

Ssangyong is 70 percent owned by Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, an Indian automaker known for its SUVs.

Read more!