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Blogger extraordinaire Mickey Kaus recently spied the above SUV innocuously parked in Santa Monica and sent us the photos, wondering if we had any clue what it is. As luck would have it, we do. The truck is a SsangYong Actyon SUV, but it's also more than that. You see the Actyon, in both SUT and SUV body styles, is the basis for Phoenix Motorcars' electric SUT and SUV, which are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in 2010. The white example Mickey snagged had been de-badged, which lends it an air of mystery, but we know SsangYong's not coming to the U.S. market.
As our esteemed colleague Sam Abuelsamid points out, Phoenix is based in Ontario, CA so it's basically a lock that this is one of their EV development mules. Using the SsangYong trucks as the basis for their electric utility vehicles has two distinct benefits for Phoenix. First, they offer proven, practical and usable packaging that'll work fine in the real world. Second, their front-end styling is bizarre enough that the unwritten rule which states that EVs have to look weird will surely be upheld. Obviously, those Tesla guys, with their sexy-spiffy Roadster, didn't get that memo.
You can check Mickey out every day at Kausfiles, and, on occassion, at Bloggingheads.tv as well. Thanks for the photos!
[Source: Mickey Kaus]