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Electric and refreshingly different – the new Torres EVX

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There are now plenty of Korean electric cars on the market and a new one seems to arrive every few weeks.

In May, the Torres EVX is the latest Korean to roll up to charging stations outside of Asia, carrying a price tag of around €40,000 for buyers in Europe.

The electric off-road vehicle comes from Korea’s smallest and oldest established car brand Ssangyong which used to make only cars powered by fossil fuels.

The manufacturer unfortunately went bankrupt and now that steel concern KG is in charge, the marketing men have added an “M” for mobility to rejuvenate the brand for the electric age.

With the Torres, the Koreans are looking to the future in terms of sales but have remained pleasingly retro on the design front.

While the vast majority of electric off-road vehicles have become streamlined SUVs with a spaceship visuals aimed at boosting range, the Torres still has corners and sharp edges and therefore a degree of character.

Yes, it does have an LED strip in the distinctive six-slot illuminated grille to make it look modern, but the designers have not let the quest for slippery lines to take away this chunky car’s spirit of adventure.

Instead, the front end that looks more rustic than the Land Rover Defender or Mercedes G-Class wagon. They even fitted some grab handles on the bonnet, which are otherwise only found on the burly Ford Bronco.

At the back is a hint of Range Rover with similar rear lights and a mock rear wheel carrier to add dirt credibility although the rear treatment is less successful overall.

Named after a national park in Chile, this SUV looks tough and adventurous on the outside, but the interior is modern and civilised.

With a wheelbase of 2.68 metres, the Torres also offers more than enough space for children and family. The boot can also be described as comparatively large with 703 to 1,662 litres of space.

And on top of that, there is a surprisingly elegant and sometimes colourful selection of materials. The Kia-style digital cockpit is sleek with a large touchscreen, wireless charging cradles and a host of assistance systems.

Sadly, the power-train of the Torres EVX has a hard time keeping up with the competition.

While the basic model, equipped with a 120 kW/163 horsepower petrol engine, is also available as an all-wheel drive model, the electric version is front-wheel drive only.

This means the wheels are prone to spinning under acceleration although with a 152 kW/207 hp and 339 Nm electric motor fitted, the Rorres has sufficient power on hand.

At 1.9 tonnes, the EVX is fairly light for a sports utility and it accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in a tidy 8.1 seconds before running out of urge at 175 km/h. The range of 462 kilometres is acceptable too.

To achieve this, the Koreans have fitted a cost-effective lithium iron phosphate battery with a capacity of 73.4 kWh and a proven warranty of ten years or one million kilometres.

And when it is depleted, the Torres’ battery is able to recharge with up to 300 kW. It does however still need 37 minutes for the first 80% and only charges alternating current at 11 kW.

The electric Torres is more at home in the city rather than the savannah but it still performs valiantly.

The chassis is well-sorted and the ride remains comfortable even on cobblestones and over tarmac potholes. The steering also provides good feedback.

The Torres stands out from the crowd, has an airy cabin with a fresh ambience and good equipment, and its electric drive makes it fit for a clean future.

If the predicted price turns out to be accurate,the Torres EVX should represent an interesting alternative in the ever-growing number of electric SUVs.

All this goes to show that buyers do not have to plump for a Hyundai or Kia when buying Korean. They just have to take note of a new brand name.

The Torres EVX is said to be able to travel more 460 kilometres on a single charge. KGM/dpa

The Torres EVX is said to be able to travel more 460 kilometres on a single charge. KGM/dpa

There is a surprisingly elegant selection of materials. The Kia-style digital cockpit is sleek with a large touchscreen, wireless charging cradles and a host of assistance systems. KGM/dpa

There is a surprisingly elegant selection of materials. The Kia-style digital cockpit is sleek with a large touchscreen, wireless charging cradles and a host of assistance systems. KGM/dpa

At the back is a hint of Range Rover with similar rear lights and a mock rear wheel carrier to add dirt credibility although the rear treatment is less successful overall. KGM/dpa

At the back is a hint of Range Rover with similar rear lights and a mock rear wheel carrier to add dirt credibility although the rear treatment is less successful overall. KGM/dpa

More screens, fewer buttons for drivers of the Torres EVX. KGM/dpa

More screens, fewer buttons for drivers of the Torres EVX. KGM/dpa

The Torres EVX looks a little more like a rugged all-terrain ride than it really is. KGM/dpa

The Torres EVX looks a little more like a rugged all-terrain ride than it really is. KGM/dpa

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