0

The Best Chinese Concept Cars of ’08

Concept cars are great, they show a car companies radical designs and future plans for car designs. In return, car companies can gauge automotive show visitors responses to the concepts, this is much cheaper than putting an ugly car into production and having nobody buy it. This year, Chinese car companies have seen massive improvements in their automotive designs, moving from boxy late 90′s designs, into sleek smooth designs that are able to rival their international rivals.

Below are CCT’s favorite concept cars from Chinese car makers in 2008.

Beijing Auto Works Luxury Sedan

baw-concept.jpg

Beijing Auto Works (BAW) were once an automotive giant in China, producing SUV’s and military equipment for the Peoples Liberation Army, but in recent years the demand for WW2 SUV technology slowly waned off. BAW had a joint venture with Daimler-Chrysler, but the split of the company left BAW producing Mercedes vehicles only. Jeeps are no longer assembled in partnership with Jeep, although BAW do make the last Jeep 2500 under their own brand now. From the Mercedes JV, BAW have obviously learned how to put together luxury vehicles, including design, and engineering. BAW’s concept cars were very stunning, and from a design point of view were clearly on par with large luxury sedans such as the Jaguar XF, and Lexus models.

Click for bigger images

baw-concept.jpg baw-concept1.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★ 

BAW say that the cars will be in production by 2012, but by 2012, BAW will need to have designed a platform (unless they can obtain old Mercedes platforms) as well as engines. We doubt that the off the shelf Mitsubishi engines that Chinese manufacturers like to use will be unable to pull the above vehicle with so much grace.

Guangzhou Sports Sedan

guangzhou-cab1.jpg

Sports sedan is a word often used in China, but very rarely do the cars they are attached to resemble anything like a sports sedan that CCT could easily recognise. The Guangzhou Sports Sedan does actually look the business, but will it pack the power under the hood? Guangzhou Auto have been busy buying technology from their JV partners Toyota, and also buying platforms from Fiat. Guangzhou Auto have large plans for their own brand, with Guangzou Auto being all the way down in the south of China, they are easy to forget when compared to ‘local’ such as SAIC, or Dongfeng.

guangzhou-cab.jpg guangzhou-cab1.jpg

Production Chances: ★★

Chery M14

chery-m14-concept.jpg

The Chery M14 is one of Chery’s mythical cars, one that we’ve heard much about over quite some time, but never actually appears to get closer to production. The M14 was designed by Pininfarina, and was well received when shown to the crowds at various auto shows. Engine rumours focus on 1.6l, and 2.0l engines, reportedly tuned by ‘Cherypower’, gearboxes will be manual and CVT form.

chery-m14-concept.jpg chery-m14-concept1.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★★

Geely FC-2

geely-fc-2.jpg

For Geely, the FC-2 is by far one of the finest designs that they have ever produced. Previous Geely’s were cheap, and not something CCT would want to look at, never mind drive! The FC-2 on the other hand is one of the nicest Chinese cars to date, its looks are a mixture of European and Korean styling, but the overall effect is quite pleasing. The FC-2 is now being tested around China, (including on the 4000m high Qinghai-Tibet highway), and is very close to production.

geely-fc-2.jpg geely-fc-2-lhasa.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★★★ 

This is one car that Geely cannot afford not to produce if they want to keep up with the Chery A3.

Wuling Demo-Car

wuling-demo-car.jpg

The Wuling Demo-Car is not the first Wuling car to be produced, Wuling once produced the Citroen Visa using spare parts they somehow managed to locate. After the Visa disaster, Wuling went into minivan production and excelled at it. They also signed up with SAIC, and GM to produce the Chevrolet Spark in China, but the Spark was quickly copied by Chery and became the infamous Chery QQ. The Wuling Demo car reminds us of a Roewe 550 ‘super lite‘ version, but the car will be half the price of the Roewe 550 at a mere 50,000rmb.

wuling-demo-car.jpg wuling-demo-car2.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★★

With the minivan market becoming extremely crowded, and the rivals for the rapidly aging Chevrolet Spark looking better, and getting cheaper, it looks like Wuling will quickly have to start moving into other market segments.

Great Wall Coolbear

The Great Wall Coolbear has been doing the auto show concept car circuit since its debut in ’06, but it looks like the Coolbear is actually getting close to production. Despite being an obvious clone of the Scion Xb, (Great Wall have a few Scions for research purposes). The Great Wall Scion Cool Bear will be packed with GreatWall’s self made 1.5l engine, which meets Euro5 specifications, and can also pilot the Coolbear to 150kph, and includes various Bosh safety bits, such as ABS/EBD.

Production Chances: ★★★★

Great Wall are eager to move on with their small car range, which will sit alongside their extremely well selling SUV range. Most of Great Walls small cars appear to be inspired by foreign vehicles, such as the Fiat Panda.

SouEast V5

soueast-v5.jpg

The SouEast V3 is one of the finest sub 100k RMB sedans on the road today, and it looks like the V5 will follow in its footsteps.  SouEast have been studying from their JV partner, Mitsubishi, especially with regards to the modified 2006 Lancer that they sell in China. The V3 appears to be very similar in design, although its much better equipped than the Lancer. The V5 might be based on the Mitsubishi Galant platform, which SouEast also produce with Mitsubishi.

soueast-v5.jpg  soueast-v5a.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★★

JAC Yuan Jing

jac-yuanjing3.jpg

JAC’s Yuan Jing is expected to be China’s answer to a premium vehicle, the first of its kind to be domestically made in China from a Chinese player. Its stance is quite formidable, the type of stance that is commonly frequented with the BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8. The exterior is fantastic, but the dashboard is certainly an acquired taste.

jac-yuanjing3.jpg jac-yuanjing3a.jpg

Production Chances: ★★★

Geely GT

geely-gt-concept.jpg geely-gt-concept1.jpg

The Geely GT concept car was a true breath taker at the Shanghai Auto Show this year, nobody was expecting Geely to launch such a stunning sports car, in fact, many people were waiting for a rehashed Beauty Leopard.

The Geely GT looks set to use a new logo for the Geely, which shows that Geely may have plans for a new luxury brand.

Production Chances: ★★

Barry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *