Four-wheel-drive rival to the Hyundai Genesis showcases breadth of Ssangyong model range; small amount of official imports not ruled out
Matt Burt
31 July 2016

The first Ssangyong Chairman W luxury saloon to be imported into the UK has been shown off at Silverstone race circuit this weekend.

Ssangyong is a sponsor of the Silverstone Classic and exhibited the left-hand-drive Chairman W at the event to illustrate the breadth of its global product portfolio beyond its UK range of crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

The Chairman W is powered by a 3.6-litre straight-six petrol engine producing 246bhp at 6600rpm and 253lb ft at 4000rpm. It drives all four wheels through a Mercedes-derived seven-speed automatic transmission.

Under the skin, the Chairman W is based upon the underpinnings of an older-generation W140 Mercedes-Benz S-class, redeveloped by Ssangyong. The Chairman W is 5135mm long, 1895mm wide and 1495mm high, with a wheelbase of 2970mm.

In the car’s home market, Korea, the car sells for the equivalent of about £40,000. A long-wheelbase variant (which adds an extra 300mm to both the overall length and the wheelbase) is also sold there.

In light of the UK’s small market for luxury saloons, there are currently no plans to officially import the Chairman W alongside Ssangyong UK’s range, although company CEO Paul Williams told Autocar he is keeping an open mind and confirmed that the car shown at Silverstone will go through UK registration and type approval.

“The Chairman W has done very well in the Korean market over the years. Historically it has been the best-selling limo in that market and we simply wanted to bring one over here to have a talking point. If it proves popular, maybe we will bring a few into the UK,” he said.

A rival to cars such as the Kia K9 and the Hyundai Genesis, the Chairman W is available with a high specification including a HarmanKardon entertainment system, full leather, rear electrically adjustable seats, air suspension and an 8in TFT monitor in the rear passenger compartment. 

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Comments
9

31 July 2016
The grille is a little gaudy. But other than that it's not too bad. Seen worse.

31 July 2016
"The Chairman W has done very well in the Korean market over the years..." - Yes, that's because when you have protectionist market policies you can flood your market with whatever third-rate products you churn out. It's not based on the 'previous generation S-class', it's not even the one before that, its the one before that - gives you some idea how competitive Korean luxury cars are on the world stage.

31 July 2016
k12479 wrote:

It's not based on the 'previous generation S-class', it's not even the one before that, its the one before that - gives you some idea how competitive Korean luxury cars are on the world stage.

To be fair, though, the W140 platform was one of Mercedes-Benz's last over-engineered platforms. It's not an awful foundation to build a luxury car on, although I'd imagine it'll be pretty heavy!

1 August 2016
k12479, shame you cant read, as it does NOT say the previous generation as you state, it says quite clearly an A previous genereation, and whats wrong in that, many brands use other brands components, and Ssangyong has been using Merc bits for ever, and even the very first Musso came with a Merc Diesel Engine

1 August 2016

jonboy4969 - just to let k12479 off the hook, I tweaked the sentence in light of his comment. It wasn't clear that it didn't mean an older generation. So he was correct, but so are you - the Merc underpinnings have served Ssangyong well...

1 August 2016
jonboy4969 wrote:

k12479, shame you cant read, as it does NOT say the previous generation as you state, it says quite clearly an A previous genereation, and whats wrong in that, many brands use other brands components, and Ssangyong has been using Merc bits for ever, and even the very first Musso came with a Merc Diesel Engine

I can read just fine. Unlike you I can also spell and use punctuation. Much of the Korean industry has involved JVs and licensed production, the problem is a lot of the underpinnings and components are previous/old generations, combined with uninspiring and often plagiarised design cues. The Koreans have come a long way and deserve credit, but perhaps not far enough, they aren't competitive with Japan and Europe and may soon have the Chinese breathing down their necks.

1 August 2016
Does not look that much worse than recent E- and S-class and Maybach efforts.

Compliments to Richie Bremner for this fairly critical report. Wish the Autocar to write as critical and un-biased on Bentley, Jaguar, Mini, Range Rover as well...

Cardillac

 

1 August 2016
As an ex Ssangyong dealer this car had always intrigued me. What's more people are commenting about this article so it's evident there is interest. Ok I cant really see Ssangyong making a case for this car but a W140 S class was an outstanding car and the best luxury car in the world for some time, and while the game has moved on I'm sure the platform on this car will still enable it to ride better than most other cars on the road,in a world where motoring journalists are far to obsessed with handling characteristics on just about every new car tested today the Chairman certainly offers something different although that infotainment system looks more 2006 than 2016 I'm sure it's well put together an offers a substantial amount of luxury and it has considerable presence like it or not. Can't imagine the C02 ratings being very good somehow! Dare to be different at your peril!

1 August 2016
[quote=rdsreference]As an ex Ssangyong dealer this car had always intrigued me. What's more people are commenting about this article so it's evident there is interest. Ok I cant really see Ssangyong making a case for this car but a W140 S class was an outstanding car and the best luxury car in the world for some time, and while the game has moved on I'm sure the platform on this car will still enable it to ride better than most other cars on the road,in a world where motoring journalists are far to obsessed with handling characteristics on just about every new car tested today the Chairman certainly offers something different although that infotainment system looks more 2006 than 2016 I'm sure it's well put together an offers a substantial amount of luxury and it has considerable presence like it or not.Scotland’s Bridge of Weir make the leather for this car. Can't imagine the C02 ratings being very good somehow! Dare to be different at your peril!

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