THE super-sized world of modern motoring has just been given another boost.
The new direction comes from Korea, where the fusion utility vehicle (FUV) is about to go way beyond America's sports utility vehicle craze.
The FUV is a new breed of super-sized people movers and the first, the Ssangyong Stavic, is headed for Australia next year.
The Stavic has 11 seats (right) in Korea, but will be limited to "only" seven or nine when it comes here. Concern over the safety requirements of the Australian Design Rules has ruled out the less-roomy version.
It comes as SsangYong, under a new New Zealand importer, makes a renewed push here with its four-wheel-drive vehicles.
"The Stavic will appeal to people with large families who want a high quality, fully equipped vehicle," SsangYong Australia's Russell Burling says.
Burling also predicts it will appeal to hotels and tourist operators, who need to move small groups of people in comfort.
The Stavic's styling is likely to cause plenty of comment, because it's one of those vehicles that will be loved or loathed. However, Burling says the unusual styling will grow on people.
"It looks much better in the flesh than it does in pictures."
The nine-seater Stavic has four rows of seats. The second row has space for three, with the two outer seats rotatable to face the rear. Rows three and four hold two each.
The Stavic will boast a familiar mechanical package, with a choice of a 161kW fuel-injected 3.2-litre double overhead cam straight six once used by Mercedes-Benz, or a 122kW 2.7-litre double overhead cam common rail turbo diesel five-cylinder, developed by the Korean carmaker with Mercedes help.
- Source from Herald Sun (Jul 30, 2004) -