SsangYong e-XIV concept: Funky plug-in SUV to debut at Paris Motor Show

SsangYong e-XIV concept front three-quarter viewSsangYong, the Korean carmaker that brought us the XIV-2 convertible SUV concept from March’s Geneva Motor Show, is queuing up another crossover concept for this month’s Paris Motor Show. This time the car, called e-XIV, will be electric.

Specifically, the e-XIV (electric-eXciting User Interface Vehicle) will be an extended-range electric vehicle, otherwise known as a plug-in hybrid, like the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma.

SsangYong is waiting for the e-XIV’s Paris debut to reveal all the details, but it did say that this concept will have one important feature: a roof covered with solar panels to help recharge the batteries. Henrik Fisker is probably unhappy to see another company copying his idea, and applying it to an odd-looking crossover.

Few cars can stand up to Fisker’s Karma in a beauty contest, but the e-XIV is strange even compared to normal cars. The low roofline and thick C-pillar treatment has been done before, and the ventilation holes in the front end make the e-XIV look like ‘90s speaker. It really shows how much of a challenge electric cars will be to designers of SUVs, since EVs don’t require massive grilles.

To hide the e-XIV’s height, designers added some black rocker paneling, admittedly executed better than on most production cars. What appears to be an air intake below and on either side of the tailgate looks cool, but probably wouldn’t be functional in real life.SsangYong e-XIV concept rear three-quarter view

The e-XIV is 163.8 inches long, 70.5 inches wide, and 62 inches tall. That puts it in the sub-compact crossover class with vehicles like the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke.

The e-XIV is the third XIV concept from SsangYong. The first XIV was a traditional crossover, while the XIV-2, as stated earlier, was a convertible.

A plug-in crossover seems like an intriguing idea, and SsangYong is not the only carmaker to think so. Mitsubishi will show a production-ready Outlander plug-in at the Paris Show, and Volvo has shown a plug-in version of its XC60 crossover as an auto show concept.

The Outlander may be larger and more practical, but the e-XIV could potentially appeal to the young hip buyers carmakers chase like unicorns, people who want a stylish ride like the Juke with some added environmentalism.

Considering the line of unpolished, aesthetically challenged SUVs SsangYong currently sells in Europe and Asia, that may be a bit of a stretch. We’ll find out when the e-XIV debuts in Paris at the end of the month.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Walmart is offering Google Home starter kits for under $50

If you're hoping to save big on Google Home devices before all the holiday deals come to an end, there's no better time than right now. Walmart is slashing prices on smart home starter kits for a limited time.
Smart Home

Stock a little and save a lot with these great mini fridges

Whether you're looking for a dorm room fridge or an addition to your basement bar, you'll find the perfect compact fridge on this list, and your brews will be chilling in no time.

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.