2023 Musso Pickup Truck Takes Aim At Ranger, Frontier, Tacoma
Pickup trucks are popular outside of the U.S. The 2023 Musso pickup truck is South Korea’s SsangYong entry targeting the Ford Ranger and Europe/Asia equivalent Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma. Though it has been around since 2018, the body-on-frame pickup is virtually unknown here. Its latest revisions and the EV concept just revealed at the 2023 Seoul Motor Show, make it another pickup we’d like to have the choice to compare against what’s on this side of the Pacific.
What engine and features does the SsangYong Musso come with?
The latest iteration, called Saracen+, adds a one-foot longer bed, larger 18-inch wheels, and many black accents. These also feature the usual gang of safety and driver assist features. Inside Nappa leather seats kick up the premium model, with a 9.2-inch screen featuring TomTom navigation. These are all new additions above the base EX model. Mid-range is the Musso Rebel featuring an eight-inch screen, AppleCarPlay, and Android Auto.
Diesel engines are still big outside of the U.S., as are pickup trucks generally in South Korea, and that is what powers the Musso truck. In fact, it is the only engine available. A 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel puts out 200 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available.
Does the Musso pickup have an EV option?
But just because it only has an oil burner for power doesn’t mean it is not looking ahead. This week SsangYong, soon to be rebranded as KG Mobility, unveiled three EV concepts including a Musso EV. It took what is arguably a fairly straight-ahead midsize truck and transformed it into something to compete with the myriad of mid-size pickups it seems that every automaker is developing at the moment.
The fascia of the “0100”, though similar to the production Musso, gets the squint-eye LED headlights and other changes that really spice things up. Lower body cladding ties into the lower fascia, integrating steps, but also visually bulking up, in a good way, the side profile. Blended into the cladding are requisite black fender flares that also truck up the overall presentation.
How much power does the SsangYong Musso EV have?
It doesn’t feature a significant lift, though it does sport off-road tires. But you can imagine this truck lifted with a more aggressive wheel/tire addition visually screaming off-road capability. A faux flat black roll bar integrates a roof rack.
Power comes from its Torres EVK EV crossover, according to the UK’s Autocar. With a 73.4 kWh battery, the range is around 310 miles. And either front- or four-wheel drive can be engaged by switching off the motor driving the rear. Adding certain options, it is estimated to have over 400 hp.
Is it coming to the U.S.?
SsangYong/KG Mobility says the Musso EV will be in production by the first part of 2025. By then we expect that it will also feature a new or highly-revised exterior.
With so many startups in the EV arena, the Musso’s parent company has been around for years, and has its manufacturing, marketing, and development in place and ongoing. To that end, it seems a likely automaker for the U.S. Whether that happens is doubtful as of now, especially with the chicken tax and other fed restrictions on trucks and EVs. Still, it offers an EV choice in what is, as of now, an open field for midsize EV pickups.