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SsangYong has identified strong demand for the two wheel drive version of its all-new Actyon Sports dual cab ute during its first month on the market in Australia, flying in the face of popular industry thinking which is dominated by four wheel drive variants.
The surge in interest in the two-wheel drive Actyon Sports was signalled to SsangYong Australia during its market research in the past 12 months prior to the introduction of the fuel-efficient diesel powered workhorse.
According to general manager sales and marketing for SsangYong Australia, Brad Larkham, the demand is being driven primarily by pragmatic tradesman who need the room and practicality of a dual cab ute but in day to day city driving don't require four wheel drive.
"Its clear that our opposition has ignored this sector of the market because virtually all dual cab utes are not available in two wheel drive form and we are seeing a lot of interest from buyers seeking this alternative," said Brad Larkham.
"The SsangYong is one of only two diesel powered dual cab utes on the Australian market available with an automatic transmission and we believe there is a strong demand for this specification, particularly in an era of high fuel prices and increased emphasis on fuel economy.
"The reality is that with good ground clearance and coil suspension that ensures the Actyon puts its power to the ground efficiently it would be rare that you would need four wheel drive except in genuine off road conditions," he said.
"That is not to say that demand for the four wheel drive variants has not been strong but at the moment inquiry is running at close to 50/50 for the two variants," he added.
"The other brands have deserted this segment in the past because of perceived low volume but with the passage of time buyer habits have changed and I reckon that with fuel efficient diesel gaining more acceptance and a higher profile amongst ute buyers the 4x2 will be an option for more and more customers," he said.
The Actyon Sports 4x2 is priced from $29,990 for the entry-level base model and $36,990 for the top of the line 4x2 Limited.
A combination of strong equipment levels, a high technology diesel engine, and modern suspension design sets the Actyon Sports apart from its opponents in the dual-cab ute market.
Technically the new Actyon Sports offers an advanced package that gives it a clear edge on its opponents in terms of ride quality, handling and safety.
Better head, shoulder and legroom means the Actyon Sport is ideal for even the longest journeys with a full compliment of five passengers on board.
The Actyon Sports boasts a wider and more contemporary design giving occupants better cabin space and comfort with genuine room for five, while also ensuring a more-sure footed ride and handling package.
It also features the latest third generation European technology common rail Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) two-litre common rail diesel engine with with maximum power of 104 kW @ 4000rpm and 310 Nm or torque @ 1800rpm.
The engine boasts a double bush chain drive for the double overhead cams ensuring a quieter but more durable system than rubber belts or single chain drive.
The 1600 bar common rail injection pressure and variable geometry turbocharger combine to provide the peak torque at a low 1800rpm.
The Actyon Sports utilises exhaust gas recirculation to satisfy the latest Euro IV emission regulations and returns a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.1L per 100km, which is 12 percent lower than the Musso Sports, making the diesel engined Actyon Sports a more viable alternative in an environment where fuel prices continue to escalate.
Actyon Sports come standard with a five-speed manual transmission with power delivered through a dual-mass flywheel for improved NVH levels. An Australian made three mode, four-speed automatic transmission is available in all models as an optional extra, cruise control is included in this package.
The Actyon Sports feature coil springs all round, with double wishbone suspension at the front and a five-link layout at the rear, which combine to give superb ride quality no matter how rough the road. This is in contrast to many utes, which use leaf springs at the rear.
Load capacity of the Actyon Sports has been lifted to 830kg, an increase of more than 200kg over the previous Musso Sports.
SsangYong Australia has also developed optional aluminium or steel drop side trays to replace the standard well body unit, added versatility and class leading capacity. It is the widest drop side trays available on the Australian 4x2 dual cab market.
The 1900mm wide drop side tray is 60mm wider than the factory Hilux, Navara and Triton trays.
A number of options maximize the versatility and capacity of the rear cargo area ranging from a soft tonneau cover, to a sporty hard lid and a fully enclosed canopy.
Actyon Sports boasts a hefty unbraked tow capacity of 750kg and up to 2.3 tonnes braked, using a neatly integrated and thoroughly tested tow bar.
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