Emgrand, Chinese carmaker Geely’s latest pitch at a new global brand, has revealed a new sedan concept at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show.
Debuting as the first Emgrand concept to be penned by Geely’s new design boss Peter Horbury, the new concept offers a first true look at the ex-Volvo and Ford stylist’s vision for the Chinese company.
Horbury famously spoke out late last year on the look of Geely’s new GC9 large car, originally believed to have been designed entirely under his leadership.
In October, Horbury revealed that this was not entirely the case.
“When you join a company, you come near the end of something, part way through something, near the beginning of something. It's an ongoing process,” he said.
“We completely redesigned the front, which was a bit of a smorgasbord of ideas. So we very quickly created a look that we passed on to the next cars - which I have had more input on,” he said.
This new midsized concept, then, is unquestionably the first result of Horbury’s work with the Geely and Emgrand brands.
Elements of the GC9’s redesigned face are visible up front, while the long profile and Audi-like tail deliver a more premium design than the GC9.
The cabin presents a more futuristic look than the near production-ready exterior, with a buttonless dash design that merges down to a long glossy centre console.
A production future for the new concept is still to be confirmed, although reports suggest that Geely believes its new sedan can take on BMW’s 3 Series in the Chinese market.
As for the GC9, Geely has similarly high hopes for that model, with the Chinese government recently selecting the large fastback sedan as its car of choice for transporting visiting dignitaries.
That’s good news for Melbourne’s Premcar, which was responsible for the development of the GC9’s suspension package, and the now Geely-owned Australian outfit Drivetrain Systems International, which developed the car’s six-speed automatic transmission.
Geely says that the GC9 also benefited from assistance from the now wholly-owned Volvo subsidiary on its chassis design.
The GC9 is yet to be confirmed for a local debut, although it is understood that West Australian-based Geely importer John Hughes is working to bring the large sedan to Australia.
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