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.